Gilani, Singh vow ‘new chapter’ at future talks


The prime ministers of Pakistan and India said Thursday they expected to open a “new chapter” at future talks between the two nations after they met at a regional summit in the Maldives.
Pakistan’s Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh said their often strained ties were improving, but they declined to give a date for their next meeting.
“The time has come to write a new chapter in the history of our countries,” Singh told reporters. “The next round of talks should be far more productive and far more practical-orientated in bringing the two countries closer.”
Gilani said that “all issues” had been discussed during their one-hour talks including the contentious subject of Kashmir.
“The (Indian) prime minister has always been open and put his cards on the table,” Gilani said. “The next round of talks will… open a new chapter in the history of the two countries.”
The leaders did not give further details of their discussions on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) gathering in the Maldives.
Singh added there had been “some positive movement but more needs to be done” to strengthen ties.
Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, who is taking over the leadership of SAARC, said he wanted India and Pakistan to shed their differences and help rejuvenate the body, which is seen by critics as an ineffectual talking shop.
His office said he was keen that the two rivals resolve their issues and help release the potential of a grouping that accounts for a fifth of humanity in one of the world’s poorest regions.