Pak moots dialogue on LoC violence involving both armies; India cold
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Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's first meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, Pakistan has proposed the setting up of a specific dialogue on violence along the Line of Control, involving military representatives on both sides.
The proposal, sources said, was floated about a month ago as a foreign secretary-level conversation. It was then repackaged as a mechanism, including representatives of the foreign office and military on both sides. South Block, however, has so far been sceptical about the idea.
While the two PMs could indeed direct their foreign ministers or foreign secretaries to meet and discuss specific proposals to maintain tranquillity — the basis of the peace process — along the LoC, the lead-up to the meeting has not indicated any major progress.India has hardened its stance in the wake of recent terror attacks, even though Pakistan is indicating movement on liberalising trade and speeding up the 26/11 trials. India wants Pakistan to conduct weekly hearings in the case.
A day after Singh made it clear in front of US President Barack Obama that expectations from his meeting with Sharif should be "toned down", the PM re-emphasised in his address to the UN General Assembly that Pakistan was the "epicentre of terrorism".
"State-sponsored cross-border terrorism is of particular concern to India, also on account of the fact that the epicentre of terrorism in our region is located in our neighbourhood in Pakistan."
On Friday, Singh and Obama had a frank and detailed discussion on Pakistan. Insiders said that Obama, who is quite upset at the attack on the US consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, recently, told Singh that he had doubts whether the Pakistan Army had made a "strategic reassessment" of their role. Obama said that he planned to raise this with Sharif.
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