Zardari could face tough questions on ceasefire violations, terrorism from Manmohan Singh

September 23rd, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Onboard Air India One, Sept.22 (ANI): Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters accompanying Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on his 10-day visit to the United States and France that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari could face some tough questions from the former with regard to the recent cease-fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) as also on the issue of cross-border and (or) state-sponsored terrorism during their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

Interacting with the media onboard Air India One, Menon said India will take up all issues, including ceasefire violations, cross border terrorism and infiltration when both meet on September 24.

Wednesday’’s meeting will be the first between the two leaders since Zardari assumed the office of President and since both countries suffered deadly bombings in their respective national capitals in the last week.

Repeated ceasefire violations on the LoC, and Pakistan’’s blatant interference in India’’s internal affairs by threatening to take the Amarnath Shrine forest land row issue in Jammu to the United Nations, has drawn New Delhi’’s ire, and as Menon had put it in July this year, put the ongoing peace process between the two countries ”under stress”.

The peace process between India and Pakistan began in 2004 and is now in its fifth round. The Joint Working Group on Trade has also met in New Delhi today.

Zardari has tried to break the ice during his inaugural parliament speech, saying that both Pakistan and India need to creatively reinvent their existing relationship.

However, authoritative government sources told ANI that they expect very little forward movement from Pakistan on all issues, as Zardari possesses little power.

Indian sources further claimed that multiple power centers are at play in Islamabad . They also see Pakistan ‘’s Army Chief Asfaq Parvez Kayani going the Musharraf way and letting the present political morass play itself out and go his way.

The sources also alleged that Pakistan ‘’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) continues to have a key role to play in acts of cross border terrorism and LOC infiltrations.

One source further said that New Delhi will engage with Zardari because he is the president.

The meeting between Dr. Singh and President Zardari is being seen as crucial, as it could very well set the course for future Indo Pak relations. (ANI)

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