New Delhi: After his much-hyped meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Maldives on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today on his way back said that he was "optimistic" of progress in relations with the estranged neighbour. The Prime Minister, though, also struck a note of caution, saying that ties between the two countries are "subject to accidents" and that India would not accept another terror attack.
"I am optimistic that India-Pakistan relations are subject to accidents and therefore we both recognised that if there is one (more) incident like Mumbai attack, then that would be a big setback. I think that has been clearly understood by PM Gilani", the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister' statement comes after he hailed his Pakistani counterpart as "a man of peace" following a one-on-one with him on Thursday in Maldives. (Read) They met in a beach cottage at the Shangrila resort - their second meeting this year since Dr Singh invited Mr Gilani to India to watch the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.
The meeting at the island nation marked a new sense of bonhomie as members of the Indian and Pakistani delegations mingled socially with each other, sharing breakfast tables and engaging in easy talks.
Taking his admiration for PM Gilani forward, Dr Singh today said, "He (Gilani) has gone ahead and expressed his reservations that terrorism is a common enemy." He also added that he got a feeling that the Pakistan Army too was on board for the peace process.
"When I did discuss with Pakistan Prime Minister whether Pakistan's armed forces were on board, the feeling I got after a long time was that Pakistan's armed forces were on board", Dr Singh said.
But he was quick to add that "terror as an instrument had no takers", which he hoped would Pakistan recognise.