Sharif also condemned the twin terror attacks in Jammu in which 10 people, including an army officer, were killed on Thursday.

"We will propose the setting up of a joint mechanism to monitor tensions along the LoC. We are open to an independent investigation, even one by the UN. If this is not acceptable to India, we can also look at calling a separate meeting of the two foreign secretaries and the DGMOs (Directors General of Military Operations)," Sharif said.

He praised Manmohan Singh, saying he was "good man". "I will only say I am meeting Manmohan Singh for the first time and I want to repair the threads broken in 1999," he said when asked what was his mood ahead of his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister in New York.

"Manmohan Singh is a good man and I am looking forward to my first meeting with him," he said.

"I will renew my invite to him. His visit is long overdue and I hope he will come and see his native village," the Pakistani Prime Minister said.

Calling for an end to the nuclear arms race in South Asia, he said, "It's time for us to stop blaming each other. And why keep on wasting money on buying F16s in a competitive arms race instead of spending on development?"

On the Jammu attack, Sharif said he condemns it in "strongest words". "This is a very sad incident and we should work hard to avoid such incidents from repeating," he added.

Manmohan Singh to hold first meeting with Nawaz Sharif today

After receiving US backing on the issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet Nawaz Sharif in New York on Sunday and he is likely to ask him to rein in terror elements operating from his country's soil and unleashing violence in India.

Expectations from the high-profile meeting, coming against the grim backdrop of terror attacks near Jammu on Thursday, however, will be toned down.
    
Manmohan Singh has made it clear that any progress in the bilateral dialogue will depend on action by Pakistan against terror groups operating from its soil.
    
Singh, who arrived in New York last night from Washington to attend the UN General Assembly, will hold his first one-on-one meeting with Sharif since the latter assumed office in June.
    
The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral ties and ways to remove difficulties in normalizing relations.
    
Sharif, who is committed to improving bilateral ties with India, on Friday said that he was looking forward to the meeting with Singh to make a ‘new beginning’ and to re-engage with India in a ‘substantive and purposeful dialogue.’
    
The India-Pakistan dialogue process was put on hold after an Indian soldier was beheaded on the Line of Control (LoC) in January. Ties hit a new low when five more soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC last month.
    
The terror attacks near Jammu, which left 10 people dead, mostly security personnel, virtually threatened to derail the New York meeting with main opposition BJP demanding the Prime Minister that his meeting with Sharif be called off.
    
However Manmohan Singh decided to go ahead with the meeting, saying such attacks will not succeed in derailing the dialogue process.

(JPN/Agencies)

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