Gilani-Manmohan meet: Pak speaks in twin voices
Pakistan today spoke in twin voices on a possible meeting between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the SAARC summit at Thimphu. While Gilani said the meeting had not been planned, the foreign office maintained it was possible.world Updated: Apr 26, 2010 20:32 IST
Pakistan on Monday spoke in twin voices on a possible meeting between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit at Thimphu. While Gilani said the meeting had not been planned, the foreign office maintained it was possible.
On its part, India said the meeting could not be ruled out.
Addressing reporters in Islamabad before leaving for the Bhutanese capital, Gilani said no meeting had been scheduled with Manmohan Singh during the April 28-29 SAARC summit.
However, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said the two prime ministers were expected to meet in Thimphu.
Basit added that the schedule for the meeting had not been finalised as yet, Online news agency reported.
He maintained that the meeting would have nothing to do with the 26/11 Mumbai attack that India has blamed on Pakistani terrorists and that efforts were underway to punish those responsible for the carnage.
He said Pakistan always wanted resumption of talks with India, adding that regional security would top the talks agenda if the two prime ministers met.
Basit added that Pakistan wanted a resolution of the Kashmir issue at the earliest.
In Thimphu, Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday said a bilateral meeting between the two prime ministers of India and Pakistan could not be ruled out and stressed that all issues would be discussed if they met.
"I am not ruling it out," Krishna said when asked if the meeting would take place.
"Let's wait and watch, how things are going to work out," he said.
"All bilateral issues between India and Pakistan will be discussed as and when the prime ministers meet."
Krishna, who arrived in Thimphu on Monday for the SAARC ministerial meeting, added that since heads of states and governments are going to be under the same roof for the next couple of days for the SAARC summit, a number of bilateral meetings could be held during the period.
Manmohan Singh is set to hold bilateral talks with the leaders of Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives on the sidelines of the eight-nation (SAARC) summit.
If the meeting between Manmohan Singh and Gilani takes place, it will be the first formal summit-level talks between the two leaders since they met at the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh in July last year.
First Published: Apr 26, 2010 20:29 IST