Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif held bilateral talks on the sidelines of a summit in Russia, agreeing on five points to tackle terror and improve ties between the two nations on Friday.
"The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. They (Modi and Sharif) discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest," Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary said. "They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development in the region," he added. "Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms," Chaudhary said.
Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar said the two leaders agreed on the following five points that were discussed at their meet:
1) A meeting in New Delhi between the NSAs of the two nations on all issues connected to terror.
2) Early meets of DG BSF and DG Pakistan Rangers followed by a meeting of DGMOs.
3) A decision for release of fishermen in each other's custody and their boats in 15 days.
4) A mechanism to facilitate religious tourism.
5) Both sides agreed to expedite the Mumbai attacks trial, including a provision for voice sample.
Jaishankar said PM Modi also accepted Sharif's invitation to attend the Saarc summit in Pakistan in 2016.
The talks between the two leaders, which began at around 9.20am local time, continued for an hour.
Modi and Sharif shook hands before sitting down for bilateral talks, that were held after more than a year.
The Indian side also had National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
The Pakistani side had Sartaj Aziz, the country's top advisor on foreign affairs, besides other officials.
The meeting came days after Modi telephoned Sharif on June 16 to convey Ramadan greetings and stressed on the need for peaceful and bilateral ties.
Modi and Sharif had met in November last year during the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, but they did not hold any bilateral meeting.
The two had held a bilateral meeting on May 26 last year during the swearing-in of Modi. The two had exchanged gifts, the sari-shawl diplomacy, and tweets, which had given rise to hope of improvement in ties between the two rivals, both nuclear powers.
But continuing firings on the border, which claimed the lives of security personnel, and the Pakistani envoy hobnobbing with Kashmiri separatists last August saw India calling off foreign secretary-level talks at the last moment.
Ties saw a downswing after that, and Pakistan's raising the Kashmir issue at international forums did not help matters.
The release of 26/11 mastermind Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi, despite India voicing concerns, also added to India's concerns.
Friday's meeting is likely to see terrorism being discussed, especially India's concern over the release of Lakhvi by a court in Pakistan.
Both India and Pakistan are to be made permanent members of the SCO.