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Leaders Of India And Pakistan To Meet


US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hold discussions in the Oval Office of the White House on September 27.

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hold discussions in the Oval Office of the White House on September 27.

The prime ministers of rivals India and Pakistan are scheduled to hold a summit on September 29.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh will meet in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

It is their first face-to-face encounter since Sharif's election victory in May, and may be among the last as Singh is due to step down next year.

Sharif has called the meeting a chance for a "new beginning," and Singh on September 28 told the General Assembly that "I reciprocate his sentiments."

But analysts say Singh has damped down expectations ahead of the meeting, which takes place amid an upsurge in militant attacks in disputed Kashmir.

Speaking on September 27 after a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, Singh said, "the epicenter of terror still remains focused in Pakistan."

He repeated that message on September 28 at the UN General Assembly.

Singh told UN delegates that India is eager to resolve all issues with Pakistan. However, he also repeated his concerns about terror attacks and the government's view that Kashmir "is an integral part of India."

Tensions between India and Pakistan date back to 1947 when Britain granted independence and carved up the subcontinent.

The two rivals have fought two wars over Kashmir.

And analysts say the scheduled withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 could stir up more trouble with both India and Pakistan pursuing competing interests there.

Analysts said the disputed Kashmir frontier has witnessed an uptick in violence this year, threatening a decade-long ceasefire.

On September 26, suspected separatist rebels killed 10 Indian security forces in the Indian-held section of the Himalayan region.

The top local official said that attack was aimed at derailing the meeting of Sharif and Singh in New York.

Based on AFP and AP reporting
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