On Board PM’s Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India has made ‘serious efforts’ to normalise its relations with Pakistan and hoped Islamabad would address New Delhi’s concerns about infiltration and cease-fire violations in the near future.
Noting that the new government in Pakistan ‘mean well’, the PM also said that India is committed to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan through peaceful dialogue.
“We are committed to resolving all outstanding issues between our two countries through peaceful dialogue. There are certain concerns we have about infiltration, about violations of ceasefire, these I did raise and I hope that in the days and months to come the Government of Pakistan will have the wisdom to address some of them,” Singh told reporters accompanying him on his return home from the US and France.
Singh described his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week as an ‘essay in mutual comprehension’.
“I had not met him before and the two of us had one on one talks that lasted for about 45 minutes, the outcome of which you have seen in the form of a joint statement,” Singh said.
Singh also welcomed the return of democracy in Pakistan.
Asked when he planned to visit Pakistan, Singh was non-committal. “It depends, we have to prepare these visits well. We now have a new government in Pakistan, they mean well and I sincerely hope that we can move forward to strengthen our interaction with Pakistan,” he said.
Indian officials are counting on Zardari to implement all the pledges reflected in the joint statement issued after his talks with Singh.
“It was a big step for Pakistan when Zardari told Singh that terrorism has to be tackled head on,” they said.