New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday said he had “very constructive and friendly exchange of views” on all bilateral issues with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and was “very satisfied” with the outcome of the talks. He also said he would visit Pakistan “on a mutually convenient date”
“President Zardari and I have had a very constructive and friendly exchange of views on all bilateral issues, which affect relations between India and Pakistan,” he said after 40 minutes of talks ahead of his luncheon with Zardari at his 7, Race Course Road residence.
“President Zardari is on a private visit and I have taken advantage this visit to discuss all the bilateral issues. And I am very satisfied with the outcome of this visit,” Manmohan Singh said.
He said Zardari has invited him to Pakistan. “I would be very happy to visit Pakistan on a mutually convenient date.”
The last time a visit was broached, during Manmohan Singh’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul March 27, the prime minister had said he would do so only if something “solid” was achievable.
Manmohan Singh said the two sides had a common desire to normalise relations.
“The relations between India and Pakistan should become normal that’s our common desire. We have a number of issues and we are willing to find a practical, pragmatic solution to all those issues, and that’s the message that President Zardari and I would wish to convey,” he added.
Zardari termed the talks as “very fruitful”.
“We will like to have better relations with India. We have spoken about every issue we could have,” he said after the talks.
As the two leaders spoke, Zardari’s son Bilawal, the chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, stood behind them. While Zardari wore a dark suit, Manmohan Singh was dressed in his usual kurta-churidar and a grey Nehru jacket. Bilawal wore a black Pathani suit.
Zardari landed in Delhi around noon. He is accompanied by a delegation that includes Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other officials.
After lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Zardari will fly to Jaipur in a special aircraft from where he will leave for Ajmer to offer prayers at the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.