New Delhi: In the first official confirmation that talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are being planned, Sharif's special envoy Shahryar Khan said that discussions are on for the meet between the leaders in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA.
While speaking to CNN-IBN, Khan said, "The meeting between the two PMs has been pencilled in, final confirmation is awaited." Khan said that two Prime Ministers are likely to meet on September 29, 2013 after the UNGA.
The meeting comes at a time when ties between India and Pakistan are very cold following repeated ceasefire violations and the killing of Indian soldiers at LoC. This will be Sharif's first meeting with Manmohan Singh after he became the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Back channel talks are already on between the two countries as the Indian Prime Minister's special envoy Satinder Lambah will be meeting Shahryar Khan in Dubai. A Pakistani judicial commission which is investigating the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks is also expected to visit India.
If the two Prime Ministers meet there are a few issues that will be placed on the agenda. Tensions along the Line of Control and killing of the Indian soldiers, the status of the 26/11 trial in Pakistan and its promises to hunt for masterminds are among the issues that are likely to be taken up in the meeting.
The outstanding issues like Pakistan's assurances on the MFN status to India and the release of Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails might also be taken up during the proposed meeting.
It is likely that the revelations indicating the involvement of Pakistan in the terror activities during the interrogations of Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal and Lashkaer-e-Toiba bomb maker Abdul Karim Tunda may also be shared with the Pakistani Prime Minister.