Musharraf-Manmohan may meet at NAM | india | Hindustan Times
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Musharraf-Manmohan may meet at NAM

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 20:39 IST
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The current chill in India-Pakistan ties may have pushed away chances, for now at least, of a meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of next month's summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at Havana, Cuba next month.

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam has not ruled out a meeting between Musharraf and Manmohan Singh at the NAM conference in Havana, The News International reported. But she guardedly said: "They may come across each other."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he would raise India's concerns on terrorism when he meets Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Havana next week on the sidelines of the NAM Summit.

"I will be raising the issue of terrorism as it affects both countries," he told reporters at Rashtrapati Bhavan after attending a function where new Central Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Sinha was administered the oaths of office and secrecy by President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Observing that the confidence-building measures (CBMs) were making progress, Singh said India was ready to look into all outstanding issues with Pakistan.

There has been a lot of progress in the CBMs and the last two years saw more people-to-people contacts than was expected, Singh said, citing visits to India by leaders from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as also to PoK by leaders from Jammu and Kashmir.

Asked whether he was satisfied with steps taken by Islamabad to contain terrorism, the prime minister contended if he was satisfied, "why should there have been interruption in talks?".

Foreign secretary-level talks slated to be held in July were put off by India in the wake of the July 11 Mumbai bomb blasts as the needle of suspicion pointed to the Pakistan-based terror group Lashker-e-Taiba.

Manmohan Singh and Musharraf are expected to be in Cuba during September 11-16 for the summit of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement. 

Prior to the July 11 Mumbai blasts, the Pakistani media had been carrying speculative reports about a meeting between the two at Havana.

However, the train bombings that accentuated Indian suspicions about Pakistan's intentions and its support for anti-India terror groups, have given a setback to the peace process.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, last week that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was "sheltering and remunerating" activists of the two groups. Aslam has been quick to refute these charges.

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