On Board PM's Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was keen to visit Pakistan but for this a "proper atmosphere" has to be created and a "crucial test" for Islamabad is to bring to book the perpetrators of the heinous Mumbai attack. Singh noted that Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said his country was doing all it could in the realm of the court process.
"I am very keen to visit Pakistan and I am grateful for the invitation. But I also mentioned to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari that we have to create a proper atmosphere," he told reporters accompanying him on his way back home from Tehran.
His remarks came a day after he met President Zardari on the sidelines of the NAM Summit in the Iranian capital during which he pushed Pakistan to act against India-directed terrorism and said that expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial in that country will be a "major" Confidence Building Measure in bilateral relations.
Zardari also renewed his invitation to Singh to visit Pakistan.
During his on board interaction, the Prime Minister, who responded to a range of questions, said there has to be a "genuine feeling" that Pakistan was doing its best to stop terror acts against India from its soil.
"There must be a genuine feeling that Pakistan is doing all that it could do to deal with terrorism directed against India from Pakistani soil. And in this context the trial of those charged with the heinous crime of Mumbai massacre was a crucial test for the Pakistani society to bring to book the perpetrators."
"There are issues like Sir Creek which are doable as was said by him (Zardari) when he came last (to Delhi in April). I said let's push this process.
"Meanwhile, Foreign Ministers will be meeting and they will explore the possibility of what can be achieved to facilitate a purposeful visit of mine to Pakistan," the Prime Minister said.
The Singh-Zardari meeting on Thursday night came a day after the Indian Supreme Court upheld LeT terrorist Ajmal Kasab's death sentence in the Mumbai terror attack case, strengthening India's case for action against others involved in the 26/11 strike in which 166 people were killed.
This was the second meeting between the two leaders this year.
Singh had earlier met Zardari in New Delhi in April when the Pakistani President made a private visit to India to pray at the Sufi shrine in Ajmer.
The Prime Minister had hosted a lunch for Zardari and conveyed to him that people of India would judge Pakistan by the actions taken to curb terrorism and against those responsible for Mumbai terror attack.
Latest News from India News Desk
On Board PM's Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said he was keen to visit Pakistan but for this a "proper atmosphere" has to be created and a "crucial test" for Islamabad is to bring to book the perpetrators of the heinous Mumbai attack.
Singh noted that Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said his country was doing all it could in the realm of the court process.