Pakistan’s Leader Visits India
The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, has given a meeting with the Indian prime minister, in New Delhi, Manmohan Singh. Both leaders described their meeting as satisfactory. The leaders said that they want to have normal relations between their countries. It was the first visit by a leader of Pakistan to India in seven years. The last meeting between the two men was held in Russia in 2009.
The main subjects of their forty minutes meeting were Kashmir, terrorism and trade. The prime minister of India promised to help in finding 124 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians, still under the snow in the Himalayas. The president of Pakistan thanked for the offer, but did not respond immediately.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars. Two of the wars were for the territory of Himalayas of Kashmir. These wars have lasted since 1947, when the division of the subcontinent into Islamic Pakistan and Hindu – majority, India after independence from Great Britain, happened.
In 2004 these two countries agreed to discuss eight main problems, including Kashmir, terrorism and river dams on the border between India and Pakistan. Since then the leaders have held discussions over the end of historical misunderstandings. But in 2008 after the terrorism assault on Mumbai, the negotiations were stopped for uncertain period of time.
In 2011 India and Pakistan decided to recommence the talks. Observers say that the latest meeting between two leaders was rather reassuring. They described it as a “welcome step”.
The next meeting will be in Pakistan at a convenient date for both leaders.