India today said a proper atmosphere is a major requisite for prime minister-level talks with Pakistan even as Islamabad expressed keenness on holding such parleys on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid, who had an informal meeting
last night with the Pakistani premier's key foreign policy aide Sartaj Aziz, said India expressed its desire to proceed with talks only if there are right atmospherics.
"We told him (Aziz) that in view of the wish of the people for positive talks, there has to be a conducive atmosphere. Whenever a high-level talk process is on, the atmosphere should be good," he told reporters.
Khurshid, here for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, said, "If there is a lack in atmospherics, there is a need to correct things to proceed. But if things are not sorted, then there difficulties are faced."
Stressing the need for peace along the border, Khurshid said the ceasefire on the Line of Control must be respected.
"That is also part of the atmosphere. If there is no peace and tranquillity on the border and LoC, then all our efforts go waste frankly," he said.
Aziz said he conveyed to Khurshid Pakistan's disappointment that the bilateral peace process was derailed by the August 6 incident, in which five Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed while on patrol on the LoC.
He said he had good talks with Khurshid and "diplomatic channels will continue to facilitate talks" between Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month.