meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, that took place against the backdrop of recurring violations of a ceasefire that has been in force since 2003, arrived at "some understanding on how to move forward," but NSA Shivshankar Menon was guarded while responding to a question whether this constituted a "new beginning" in bilateral relations.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in New York, US. (ANI Photo)
The Pakistani PM mentioned many other issues - including Siachen, Sir Creek and Baluchistan - but all these would be taken up only subsequently.
Sharif drove to the New York Palace Hotel where Singh is staying. Apart from the PMs, both sides had five members each in the delegation. This is the same hotel that Sharif and AB Vajpayee met in 1999, kicking off the Lahore peace process - which now Sharif thinks led to his ouster from power by the army.
Given the domestic turmoil that both PMs face - Singh is at the end of his tenure and Sharif is trying to consolidate after the May election victory - this time both sides were guarded in their expectations.
Asked how can this meeting be compared with the earlier high level meets between India and Pakistan, the NSA said: "Each occasion is different, except the common fact that the idea each time has been to get out of the unsatisfactory situation of our bilateral relations."
The alleged funding of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) by Pakistan's Punjab government too figured "in the course of the conversation," but there is "no dos and don'ts list that India wants to give to Pakistan."
Sharif did mention Baluchistan during the meeting, but Singh reiterated India's stance that "there is no question of India interfering," there.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon addresses the press in New York
Manmohan Singh said you can choose your friends, not your neighbours: Shivshankar Menon
The issue of terrorism was discussed: Shivshankar Menon
Balochistan was mentioned in the meeting. PM made clear there was no question of Indian interference: Shivshankar Menon
We have some understanding of how we can move forward, that is a development from where we were one and half hours ago: Shivshankar Menon
The DGMOs have been tasked to keep ceasefire in place. PM stressed on bringing Mumbai attackers to justice: Shivshankar Menon
PM Singh mentioned terrorism and need for effective action to bring perpetrators of 26/11 to book: Shivshankar Menon
No decision on another meeting at this stage. How successful was this meeting, proof in the months to come: Shivshankar Menon
Meeting was useful, provided an opportunity for high level contact: Shivshankar Menon
Both sides wants to have better relations,but we need to address issues like recent ceasefire violation: Shivshankar Menon
PM Singh invited Nawaz Sharif to India, PM Sharif invited PM Singh to Pakistan, both accepted, no dates yet: Shivshankar Menon
Dr Singh invited PM Nawaz Sharif to visit India. Mr Sharif invited Dr Singh to Pakistan. Both accepted. No dates set: Shivshankar Menon
No decision has been taken yet of the next meeting: Shivshankar Menon