Vajpayee meets Jamali, talks peace
PM Vajpayee will meet President Musharraf later this morning.Replace mistrust with trust: Atalindia Updated: Jan 05, 2004 10:16 IST
External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha described it as a "courtesy call" and said Vajpayee had also sought an appointment with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said the meeting would be held at 10.30 a.m. on Monday.
Sources said the meeting with Jamali was being described as a courtesy call because neither side wanted to raise too many hopes.
"They met in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The two prime ministers agreed that the momentum created in our bilateral relations should be maintained," Sinha said.
But Musharraf sounded a note of caution at a banquet he hosted for the leaders of Saarc countries. South Asia would never achieve its full potential unless disputes were settled peacefully, he said.
The Saarc charter should be expanded to include bilateral issues, Musharraf added.
The first half of the Vajpayee-Jamali meeting was attended by Sinha, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar, while the two prime ministers met one-to-one for 15 minutes.
Sources said the two leaders agreed that more efforts had to be made and trust had to be created to push the peace process forward.
Official-level talks could follow if India was convinced that Pakistan was serious about clamping down on terrorists, the sources added.
After the Vajpayee-Jamali meeting, Sinha called on Kasuri. He said they were satisfied with the progress in bilateral relations and discussed ways of maintaining the momentum.
Although Sinha did not elaborate on the details of what transpired, diplomatic sources said the Pakistani side stressed the need for more confidence-building measures and suggested that the two sides increase the strength of their high commissions to 110.
India had recently suggested that the strength of the missions be increased from the current 55 to 75.
Sources here said Mishra and High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Menon's back-channel diplomacy, during which the two sides tried to assess the situation and build trust, helped set up Vajpayee's meeting.
Mishra met some of Musharraf's key aides and some former diplomats.