India-Pakistan relations getting back on track?

India-Pakistan relations getting back on track?

India's Shivshankar Menon and Pakistan's Salman Bashir met one-on-one for 90 minutes here late Tuesday to hold "good, detailed discussios", it was learnt. However, the two top diplomats, who discussed "issues at some length", would be meeting again to pave the way for the Manmohan Singh-Gilani interaction at 10.30 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
There was the possibility that the two prime ministers may also meet the press together, officials said in an indication that a joint press statement might be on the way.

The talks between the foreign secretaries had been decided upon when Manmohan Singh met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in June this year.

"We agreed that our foreign secretaries will discuss what Pakistan is doing and can do to prevent terrorism from Pakistan against India and to bring those responsible for these attacks to justice, including the horrendous crime of the attacks in Mumbai. They will report to us and we will take stock of the situation when we are at Sharm-el-Sheikh," Manmohan Singh had said categorically after his brief discussions with Zardari.
Relations between the two countries nosedived after the Mumbai terror attack. India suspended the composite dialogue process. The latest effort at putting them back on track comes as the alleged mastermind of the attacks, Jamaat-ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed's case is up for hearing in the Pakistan Supreme Court. While the prickly issue of his release is being heard in Islamabad, the two countries are in the process of ironing out some of their differences.

Saeed, arrested after the UN Security Council banned his organisation, was released in June by the Lahore High Court that ruled he could not be kept under house arrest without any evidence.

India is also studying the dossier on the probe into the Mumbai terror attack that Pakistan handed over to its Charge d' Affaire Manpreet Vora in Islamabad Saturday night.
The hectic India-Pakistan negotiations come on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit. Wednesday, the first day of the two-day summits, will be hectic with Manmohan Singh also scheduled to make his address in the afternoon and hold bilateral discussions with Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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