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India/Pakistan/Non-Aligned Movement

Gilani and Singh swear to fight terror at Sharm el-Sheikh meeting

Article published on the 2009-07-16 Latest update 2009-07-16 13:31 TU

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (L) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh (Photo: Reuters)

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani (L) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh
(Photo: Reuters)

The Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers swore to fight "terrorism" together at a bilateral meeting at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. The talks between Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani are being hailed as a step towards improved relations, but Singh later said that there will be no more talks unles Islambad acts on last year's Mumbai attacks.

"Both leaders affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and co-operate with each other to this end," said a joint statement.

After criticism in India of a section of the statement which promised that talks will continue regardless of whether there is progress on terror, Singh said that there will be no more negotiations unless Pakistan takes action against those held responsible for last year's Mumbai attacks

Delhi has accused Islamabad of dragging its feet in prosecuting Pakistan-based individuals and groups alleged to be behind the attacks. These are only the second high-level talks between the two neighbours since over 160 people were killed in the city. 

"Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice and Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan will do everything in its power in this regard," the statement said.

Pakistan has said that it will "probably" put the five accused of involvement in the attacks on trial this week.

"There has recently been some forward movement in our relations with India," Gilani said. "We hope to sustain this momentum and move towards comprehensive engagement. We believe durable peace in South Asia is achievable."

Gilani said that peace will be "facilitated" be the resolution of  the dispute over Kashmir, the divided Muslim-majority state which has been the cause of three wars between the two countries.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to leave Washington for India on Thursday and said Wednesday that she will visit Pakistan in the autumn.

In Pakistan a UN official and security guard were killed in a camp for refugees from the military offensive in the Swat valley. Another UN refugees' organisation employee was wounded in the attack by four unidentified gunmen on the men's vehicle.

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