New Delhi: NarendraModi, who took over as Prime Minister on Monday, talked tough on cross-border terror at a meeting today with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, which was watched closely on both sides of the border. (Need to Change Confrontation into Cooperation, Says Nawaz Sharif)
Mr Modi reportedly stressed that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to control terrorism from its soil against India and also raised the slow pace of trial in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
The attack on the Indian consulate at Herat in Afghanistan on Friday was also discussed. Afghan president Hamid Karzai has blamed Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the assault linked by some to the Modi government's takeover.
"We want friendly relations with Pakistan. However, for such relations to proceed, terror and violence must end," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told reporters, adding that India's concerns over terror were "clearly articulated." ('Peace should be irreversible', says Former Pak Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Talks with India)
The two leaders met for 50 minutes at Delhi's Hyderabad House, a day after Mr Sharif attended Mr Modi's grand swearing-in ceremony along with other South Asian leaders.
In the interaction widely seen as an "ice-breaker", they decided that their foreign secretaries will be in touch and discuss a way forward on talks that have been suspended since January, 2013. (ForeignMedia on the Modi-Sharif Handshake)
"We agreed that the two Foreign Secretaries would be meeting soon, to review and carry forward our bilateral agenda, in the spirit of our meeting today," Mr Sharif said before leaving for Pakistan. (In Jama Masjid, Nawaz Sharif says he Has Come to India With Message of Peace)
Mr Modi has also accepted Mr Sharif's invitation to Pakistan but "nothing is fixed," said Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh. (Modi-Sharif Handshake: The Photo-Op That Almost Overshadowed the Swearing-In)
After his victory, Mr Modi surprised many by inviting the Pakistan prime minister for his inauguration. Mr Sharif accepted it apparently against the advice of hardliners in his country.
In a tweet on today's meeting, Mr Sharif's daughter said, "Indian PM Modi refers to PM Sharif as 'MAN OF PEACE'.... Hope negativity fails and peace wins (sic)."
The Pakistani leader also called on Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was prime minister when he last visited India in 1999.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since Independence in 1947. Hostilities escalated last year after the killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops and a series of ceasefire violations at the border.