Manmohan-Zardari talks were positive and forward looking: Menon

September 26th, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

By Naveen Kapoor
Washington, Sept.26 (ANI): Describing the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari as positive, forward looking and seeking potential, Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said both leaders held detailed discussions in New York, and covered all aspects of the relationship.
He emphasized that Dr. Singh raised India’’s concerns with regard to terrorism and the violation of the cease-fire along the LOC, and added that President Zardari made it quite clear his determination to deal with issues like terrorism and stressed the value that he attaches to maintenance of the cease-fire.
“They also spoke about the Kabul Embassy blast. President Zardari condemned it in no uncertain terms which is why we are holding the special session of Joint Anti Terror Group on that issue. But more than that they talked about the potential of the relationship and how we can use trade and use other things to move forward on the various issues,” Menon said.
He confirmed that President Zardari had also raised the water issue because Baglihar is filling the dam and the Pakistan Indus Water Commissioner was worried that water flow were low and he had complained to his colleagues.
“We have invited him (the Indus Water Commissioner) to come in the next 15 days and to see that we are actually not filling the dam or anything but there is scarcity of water in the river. Having told him (Zardari) this, the PM assured we will abide by our commitment under the Indus Water Treaty,” said Menon.
He also said that there was a considerable discussion on the potential for economic cooperation, especially in the energy sector. One of the ideas on the Pakistani side was to develop the enormous Thar Coal deposit. Pakistan also has a shortage of electricity and needs to generate to much more.
“One idea is to jointly develop those coal deposits to use electricity on both sides of the border.It is only an idea, no one has done a feasibility of wheeling the power out of Pakistan. But several ideas like that were discussed. So it was a pretty open and wide ranging discussion,” Menon said.
Menon also confirmed that an invitation has been extended from both sides to visit to each other’’s country. (ANI)

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