PM to tick off Zardari on terror

Singh, who arrived here on a three-day visit to attend two multilateral summits, is expected to convey “unhappiness” over Pakistan’s inaction against terrorism directed against India.

During the meeting with Zardari on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Singh will particularly express disappointment over the release of the Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafeez Mohammed Saeed, who is believed to be one of those who had masterminded the 26/11 attacks, sources said.

The meeting was sought by Pakistan when its High Commissioner in New Delhi Shahid Malik met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon last week. India agreed to it, sources said, as it was felt that the two countries have to live as neighbours even though there are issues and problems between them.

Terrorism is the core issue for India and till this is addressed, relations with Pakistan cannot become normal. This message is expected to be conveyed by Singh to Zardari.

India’s expectation

Pakistan is aware of India’s expectation, which is “concrete action to dismantle terror infrastructure and particularly against those responsible for Mumbai attacks”.

New Delhi notes that the Indo-Pak relations are under stress and the bilateral dialogue is on hold because of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, the sources added.

Singh will emphasise India’s expectations about cracking down on terrorism, they said.

The sources said that the meeting between Singh and Zardari should not be seen from the context of Composite Dialogue which remains suspended as India is not satisfied with Pakistan’s action against terrorism so far. Sources said the steps taken by Pakistan to bring to justice Mumbai attackers and dismantle terror infrastructure are “far from adequate”.

Singh and Zardari had last met in New York in September 2008 on the sidelines of UN General Assembly, that was before the Mumbai attacks.

The sources denied that there was any pressure on India to have this meeting.

Giving the background to the meeting, the sources referred to prime minister’s statement in Parliament last week that it was in India’s interest to have peace with Pakistan and New Delhi will meet “more than halfway” if they take effective steps against terrorism.
“If the leadership of Pakistan has courage, determination and statesmanship to act against terror, I assure them we will meet them more than halfway,” Singh had said in the Parliament last week.

Manmohan meets Hu

Meanwhile, Manmohan Singh met Chinese President Hu Jintao here on Monday night. The meeting comes weeks before the special representatives of the two countries hold their next round of negotiations on their decades-old boundary dispute on August 7 and 8 in New Delhi.

The two leaders discussed a host of bilateral and global issues, including pulling their collective economic weight to frame solutions to the global financial meltdown.

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