India, Pakistan unveil 5-point agenda to improve ties, focus on terror

Terrorism and fast-tracking the trial of the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem accused predictably dominated the talks between the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, the first positive meeting between them after more than a year.
Belying the undercurrents of tensions that permeate India-Pakistan relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart shook hands, smiled and posed before hordes of paparazzi in the Russian city of Ufa. The official spin coming out of the much-hyped meeting was that it was held in a cordial atmosphere.
For a change, the meeting was more than just a photo-op meant for the international community which is always concerned about the relations between the two nuclear-armed rivals. The statement read out by foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan conjured up a positive picture of the way forward in a conflicted relationship. “They agreed that India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. To do so, they are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues,” they said. “Both leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate this menace from South Asia,” they added.
The meeting seemed to have paved for accelerated engagement between the two countries, with Mr Modi accepting the invitation of Mr Sharif to visit Islamabad for the SAARC summit in 2016.

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