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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

 India

PM wants to give Sharif a chance: Khurshid
PTI
New York, September 30, 2013
First Published: 11:25 IST(30/9/2013)
Last Updated: 11:40 IST(30/9/2013)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who met Nawaz Sharif here despite strong criticism from opposition back home, wants to 'trust' the new Pakistan Prime Minister and give him a chance to 'walk the talk' on stopping ceasefire violations and terror activities against India.

Stating this, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid underlined that while 'seeking to trust' Sharif, India will 'verify' the actions on the ground before taking any step further on resuming the stalled dialogue process.

In an interview to PTI, Khurshid said the 'bacteria' of anti-India terrorism rooted in Pakistan must be eliminated whether 'it is state-sponsored, state-controlled, state- mandated or state-encouraged' and should not be allowed to grow and destroy the 'sapling' of 'creative constructive relationship'.

"Our Prime Minister wants to give him (Sharif) a chance, wants to trust him. But as he (Singh) has said we have to verify," said Khurshid while defending Singh's meeting with Sharif despite opposition BJP contending that it was not the right time, as Pakistan was engaging in ceasefire violations.

Noting that Sharif has taken over as Prime Minister of Pakistan recently, he said there is a "reasonable element of hope that this discussion will not go waste and it will lead to some improvement and something concrete in the future."

At the hour-long meeting with Sharif on Sunday on the sidelines of UNGA, Singh made it clear that ending ceasefire violations on the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is a pre-condition for resumption of bilateral dialogue.

Khurshid, who was part of the Indian delegation, said Singh had "free, frank and friendly discussion" with Sharif and flagged every issue of concern, including Mumbai attack, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and its chief Hafiz Saeed, and LoC firing during the meeting.


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