New York, Sep 29: National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon on Sunday told media that both India and Pakistan have agreed that honouring the November 26, 2003 ceasefire agreement, and improving the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) is a precondition for taking the bilateral relationship forward.
“They (Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif) both agreed that the precondition for forward movement in the relationship, which they both desire, is really an improvement in the situation along the LoC, where there has been repeated ceasefire violations and incidents,” Menon said.
“My understanding is that both sides want to see a better India-Pakistan relationship than we have today. …Right now, our effort is focused on making it possible to move towards the broader dialogue and that stage hasn’t come yet,” he added.
Menon also said that it was decided to task the Directors General of Military Operations on both sides to prepare a strategy for effective restoration of the ceasefire along the LoC, and added that the impact of the proposed solutions can only be judged with time.
“They (Singh and Sharif) decided to task the DGMOs to suggest effective means to restore the ceasefire and suggest a way forward to ensure that that remains enforced and in place…As for how useful or, how productive the meeting was, I think the only proof is in the months to come,” he said.
“Our overall impression from the meeting was useful, because, it provided an occasion for high-level contact and discussion on the issues which are troubling the relationship. This was necessary at this time. We will now see how both sides take it from here forward, over the next few months,” he added.
Menon also confirmed that Dr. Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif had exchanged invites for their next meeting in both countries, but a date has not been fixed yet.
The meeting between Dr. Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif, which lasted just over an hour, came at a time when both countries are facing politically sensitive situations in the wake of the multiple incidents of ceasefire violation, militant attacks and incidents along the LoC in the past few months.
The India-Pakistan relationship has been especially stressed since August 6, when five Indian soldiers by were ambushed by Pakistani troops in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, there have been multiple incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC and militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have also increased. (ANI)