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India, Pak to de-link talks from action on terror

Last updated on: July 16, 2009 

Image: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani interacts with Dr Singh
Photographs: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

India and Pakistan on Thursday agreed not to link the composite dialogue to action on terrorism as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh elicited a promise from his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani that Islamabad would "do everything in its power" to punish perpetrators of 26/11 attack.

In a joint statement issued after about two-hour-long talks between Dr Singh and Gilani in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the two sides agreed to "create an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence" and resolved to eliminate the factors that prevent the two neighbours from realising the full potential in their ties.

'Dialogue is the only way forward'

Image: Gilani shakes hands with Dr Singh
During the talks that focussed on terrorism against the backdrop of Mumbai attack, the two sides also decided to share "real-time, credible and actionable information on any 'future terror threats'.

"Both Prime Ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward... Action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed," the statement said.

PM makes a strong pitch against terror

Image: Dr Singh arrives with a delegation to meet with his Pakistani counterpart

Prime Minister Singh had on Wednesday made a strong pitch for dismantling of terror infrastructure and asked countries not to provide safe havens for terrorists.

In recent years, terrorist groups have become more sophisticated, more organised and more daring. Terrorists and those who aid and abet them must be brought to justice," he said, addressing the plenary session of the two-day summit of the 118-member NAM, where his Pakistani counterpart was also present.

Will Pakistan's flip-flops end?

Image: Gilani arrives with a delegation to meet his Indian counterpart

The discussions between the two top leaders are also believed to have covered the flip-flop in Pakistan over the detention and release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, a key accused in the Mumbai terror attacks.

The meeting between Dr Singh and Gilani comes six days after Pakistan handed over a fresh dossier on its probe into the Mumbai terror attacks to India.