Pakistan Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before leaving for Islamabad. Confirming the meeting that was sought from the Pakistan side, official sources said the interaction was a courtesy call.
Mr. Aziz had come here to attend the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Foreign Ministers and had utilised the occasion to meet External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
During the meeting, India had set forward preconditions for dialogue on outstanding issues with Pakistan to make progress. As Mr. Khurshid said, Pakistan must respect India’s 'sentiments' and 'sensitivities’.
Official sources said the observation about 'sensitivities' indicated New Delhi’s displeasure with Mr. Aziz meeting Kashmiri separatists including representatives of an organisation which is among the 35 'terrorist organisations' banned by the Union Home Ministry.
By 'sentiments', the Minister was referring to frequent incidents of violence on the line of control (LoC) including the killings of Indian soldiers that stirred public opinion in the country and speeding up the trial in Pakistan of the seven accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks in 2008.
At the same time, the two leaders were committed to making progress in quelling violence that includes mortar and small arms firing on the border. In this respect, they felt the mechanism of the Director Generals of Military Operations must meet at an early date to find ways of bringing peace on the border.