Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari for the first time since the Mumbai attacks, bluntly declaring that Pakistani soil must not be used for terrorism.
PTI said that the pair had earlier shaken hands but after Singh's comments Zardari immediately asked journalists to be escorted from the room so the meeting could be continued in private.
India blamed the attacks -- which left 166 dead -- on Pakistan-based militants linked to the country's powerful spy service and froze the four-year-old peace dialogue with its nuclear-armed neighbour and arch-rival.
PTI reported that Singh was also understood to have conveyed India's "unhappiness" over Pakistani inaction against terrorism aimed at India.
New Delhi blames a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), for planning and launching the November assault in which 10 gunmen targeted multiple locations in Mumbai during a three-day killing spree.
Singh also expressed disappointment over the release of the Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed suspected by India of being among the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks, PTI said.
A Pakistan court earlier this month ordered the release of Hafiz, a founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and whose Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a charity blacklisted in the West as a terror group.
Pakistan put Hafiz and three of his co-leaders under house arrest in early December and publicly shut offices of the charity.
Indian prosecutors say they have evidence that "undoubtedly and conclusively" links the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan.
The last high-level India-Pakistan meeting took place in September when Singh met Zardari on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Pakistan meanwhile urged a resumption of dialogue between the two sides.
"The most sensible thing to do now would be to resume dialogue as soon as possible," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, according to PTI.
"It is in our mutual interest. Both countries stand to gain by resumption of dialogue. Pakistan feels it is an useful exercise."
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since partition in 1947, two of them over the divided and disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
The European Union and Pakistan hold their first summit Wednesday, with the fight against terrorism and deepening trade links topping the agenda, according to a draft text.
In a joint declaration prepared for the summit, the two agree to launch "strategic dialogue" on "development, education, science and technology, security, counter-terrorism, strengthening democracy, human rights and enhancing trade."
Source: AFP South Asian Edition