PM, Obama discuss regional situation

A spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office said Singh and Obama had wide-ranging talks, covering further growth and development of the India-US ties and the situation in the region.

Singh conveyed to Obama India’s concern over the epicentre of terror in Pakistan—a concern that New Delhi believes has been underlined by the revelation that Laden was hiding in a mansion not very far from Pakistani Military Academy in Abbottabad.

The prime minister, however, is understood to have told the Obama that New Delhi would continue with its recently re-launched “comprehensive and serious” dialogue with Islamabad. 

Notwithstanding Operation Geronimo and its implications, India may hold three rounds of talks with Pakistan this month. Water resources secretaries of the two countries will meet in Islamabad from May 11 to 14 to discuss the disputed Wullar Barrage / Tulbul Navigation project. This will be followed by a meeting on the dispute over Sir Creek in the third week of the month.

The latest round of talks were being held against the backdrop of a bonhomie between the two countries over Manmohan Singh’s invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch the World Cup semi-final between the cricket teams of India and Pakistan at Mohali near Chandigarh.

But India continues to be concerned over terror hubs in Pakistan. “The US operation against Osama Bin Laden deep inside Pakistan earlier this week raises the question for all of us in this audience, of the sanctuary enjoyed by terrorists in that country,” Foreign Secretary Nirupuma Rao said in a speech at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris last Thursday.



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