UFA: Pakistan and India Friday agreed on holding talks on all issues including terrorism as their leaders met here on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit.
The agreement came as Prime Ministers Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held an hour-long meeting here at the Russian city of Ufa in a bid to restart the stalled peace process between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday accepted invitation by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the next SAARC Summit in 2016, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry told reporters at a joint press conference along with the Secretary Indian External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, after the meeting.
The two foreign secretaries read out a prepared statement, without taking any questions.
Aizaz Chaudhry said, “The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere” and the two leaders exchanged views on issues of bilateral and regional interest.
He stated that the leaders agreed that India and Pakistan had a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development.
“To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues,” Chaudhry said.
He said “both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each to eliminate this menace from South Asia.”
Without giving a time-frame, the Indian External Affairs Secretary said the two leaders agreed that their National Security Advisers would meet in New Delhi to discuss all issues connected with terrorism.
He said the two sides also agreed on an early meeting of Indian DG Border Security Force and Pakistan’s DG Rangers to be followed by a meeting of their respective Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs); release of the fishermen alongwith their boats detained in each other’s country over border violation within a period of 15 days, and to work on a mechanism for facilitating religious tourism.
He said both the sides agreed to discuss ways and means to expedite the Mumbai Case Trial including additional information like providing voice samples.
Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi were present during the Sharif-Modi meeting. The Indian delegation included National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Earlier, the two leaders warmly shook hands and posed for a photograph before proceeding for the talks.
Their last handshake was at Kathmandu in November last year on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit that came after several incidents of firing along the Line of Control, leading to the cancellation of Secretary level talks. While the last structured meeting between the two was held on May 27 last year.
A Foreign Office spokesman earlier told reporters in Islamabad that the meeting between the two leaders was a positive development.
He expressed the hope that it would have a positive impact on bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said the international community was also interested in improvement of relations between Pakistan and India as it would benefit not only the peoples of the two countries but also the whole region.