National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon on Sunday said India took a hard stand on security and terror-related issues with Pakistan during a meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif, and said trade and economic understanding can and will only be taken up after a solution is arrived at on ways to end such attacks.
"Earlier, understandings on trade, economic and other relations, but the basic understanding emerging from the meeting was, that all that would be possible once we have dealt with the immediate issues-the immediate situation-that we face today," Menon said, while indirectly referring to the recent ceasefire violations and militant attacks taking place from across the border.
Menon stressed that the secondary issue of trade would take place only after the 'precondition' of security along the border is taken care of.
"They (Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif) both agreed that the precondition for forward movement in the relationship, which they both desire, is really an improvement in the situation along the LoC, where there has been repeated ceasefire violations and (other) incidents," Menon said.
"My understanding is that both sides want to see a better India-Pakistan relationship than we have today. ...Right now, our effort is focused on making it possible to move towards the broader dialogue, and, that stage hasn't come yet," he added.
The meeting took place in a politically sensitive situation for both countries, given the multiple instances of cross-border ceasefire violations and militant attacks along the LoC over the past few months.
The India-Pakistan relationship has been especially stressed since August 6, when five Indian soldiers by were ambushed by Pakistani troops in Poonch District of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, there have been multiple incidents of ceasefire violation along the LoC. Militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have also increased. (ANI)