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Nawaz Sharif, Manmohan Singh may meet on sidelines of UN annual summit

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh could meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN annual summit in September to discuss bilateral ties, regional situation and other issues, a top Pakistani official has said.

In an informal chat, Sharif's Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday told reporters that the two leaders could have a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN annual summit in September.

Manmohan Singh. AFP

Manmohan Singh. AFP

He said the meeting could provide opportunity to the two prime ministers to discuss bilateral ties, regional situation and other issues, The News International reported today.

Last week, he had indicated after meeting with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Brunei that the two sides were trying to set up the meeting.

If it happens, it will be the first interaction between the two top leaders since Sharif took office last month.

So far there is no official confirmation of the meeting from Pakistan foreign ministry.

Aziz also said the track-two diplomacy would continue as former foreign secretary Sheharyar Muhammad Khan has been deputed for the assignment and the impression of his visit to New Delhi as "one time event" isn't correct.

Aziz also said that his country was prepared for normal trade relations with India if their concerns about "level playing fields" were addressed.

He said Pakistan's agricultural lobby had fears about the subsidies India provided to its agriculturalists which gives undue advantage to its products.

Aziz said Pakistan always fulfilled its commitment and it is waiting for India to carry out its promises. He assured that Pakistan is desirous to have normal ties with India.

PTI