India and Pakistan on Friday agreed to expedite the Mumbai terror attack trial.
Modi will be the first Indian prime minister in 12 years to visit Pakistan, after Atal Bihari Vajpayee in January 2004.
Later, Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry met the press and read out a joint statement on the outcome of the Modi-Sharif meeting.
In the statement, it was agreed that officials responsible for security on both sides of the border would meet soon, as would their respective national security advisers to “discuss all issues connected to terrorism”.
“Friday’s meeting was the first between the prime ministers of the two countries since Sharif attended Modi’s oath taking ceremony in May 2014”.
That the SCO forum has provided the leaders of the two countries an ideal occasion is a fact that has manifested in prime minister Modi and Nawaz agreeing to hold bilateral talks on all issues including terrorism.
After the Mumbai massacre’s suspected mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was released on bail from a Pakistani jail in April, India described the move as “unfortunate and disappointing”, given over 170 people died in the attacks allegedly carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists. However, BJP’s ally in Maharashtra Shiv Sena termed Modi’s meeting with Sharif as “unfortunate”, refusing to share ally BJP’s enthusiasm over the development. The two prime ministers shook hands before the start of talks.
Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and ex- foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Kashmir should have been mentioned in the joint declaration.
In the statement, the two governments said they would “discuss ways and means” to expedite the legal process, including the sharing of voice samples.
Modi and Sharif met while attending a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, held in the Russian city of Ufa.
While the ice between the South Asian rivals may have been broken, progress in ending the freeze in their relations is likely to be slow.
The former interior minister tagged Modi’s approach towards Mr. Sharif as “rude and diplomatic” and chastised the Pakistan PM for “badly hurting the feelings of the Pakistani nation”.
The addition of Pakistan and India, two nuclear-armed neighbours who have years of tensions between them, could also lead to easing the conflicts between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Last year, a series of border skirmishes – cross-border shelling and gunfire – in Kashmir strained India and Pakistan’s tense relationship.
In New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader M J Akbar described the talks as a success and said: “The meeting was a breakthrough, the reason for this is very clear as for the first time Pakistan has accepted our definition of terrorism”. “Mr. Modi is a different man with a different mind and a different thinking from the previous Prime Minister”, The Hindu quoted General Durrani as saying.