Singh in 'terror' warning to Pakistan ahead of talks

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said Pakistan must stop being "the epicentre of terrorism", ahead of talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

Mr Singh also stressed that he shared Mr Sharif's hopes for better relations between the two Asian rivals.

Ahead of their meeting in New York, Mr Sharif called for a "new beginning" with Delhi.

The bilateral ties have been strained over continuing deadly clashes in the disputed region of Kashmir.

On Thursday, at least 10 people were killed when militants stormed a police station and an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Delhi has also blamed Pakistan-based militants for the deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008, urging Islamabad to punish the perpetrators.

Indian soldiers said they shot dead three gunmen in this week's attack
"For progress to be made, it is imperative that the territory of Pakistan and the areas under its control are not utilised for aiding or abetting terrorism," Mr Singh said in a speech at the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
 "It is equally important that the terrorist machinery that draws its sustenance from Pakistan be shut down."

Mr Singh also said he reciprocated Mr Sharif's hopes for better relations, but stressed that Delhi viewed Kashmir as "an integral part of India".

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by the Line of Control.

India in the past has expressed concern over Mr Sharif's perceived ties to radical Islamic groups operating in Pakistan, correspondents say.

In his speech at the UN, Mr Sharif said he was looking for a "purposeful dialogue" with Mr Singh during their Sunday's meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

"Our two countries have wasted massive resources in an arms race. We could have used those resources for the economic well-being of our people," he said.

Despite tense relations between the two countries, they may be an opening, the BBC's Nick Bryant in New York reports.

Mr Singh, 81, is not expected to contest next year's elections, and this could be his last chance to revive the stalled peace process, our correspondent says.

Mr Sharif swept to power in May with pledges to improve ties with India.  --- BBC


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