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PM meets Gilani in Beijing

By Sheela Bhatt in Beijing
October 24, 2008 18:43 IST
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On sidelines of the Asia Europe Summit meet, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Beijing on Friday at the Great Hall of the People.

Dr Singh and the Pakistani establishment seem keen to move the relationship forward. The meeting and dialogue with Pakistan assumes importance for India in view of Jammu and Kashmir elections next month. Both the leaders met for 25 minutes.

After the meeting, Dr Singh said, "I had a very good meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani. We reviewed the state of our relationship. We expressed happiness at the resumption of trade on the two routes in Jammu and Kashmir. We also discussed possibilities of increased trade between our two countries, the visa regime. And, he told me about their commitment to the success of the joint terror mechanism talks."

Dr Singh told the Indian media, that, "He assured me that they are very seriously committed to working with us to control terror. Terror is common enemy of both India and Pakistan."

Replying to a question on the Indus Water Treaty, the prime minister said, "The implementation of the Indus Water Treaty in letter and substance is a commitment which we take seriously."

When asked if such controversial issues will affect ongoing peace dialogue, he said, "We will not allow that situation to develop, we are committed to honour all our commitments."

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Sheela Bhatt in Beijing