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Manmohan meets Musharraf in Jakarta

Special Correspondent

JAKARTA: Less than a week after their highly successful summit in New Delhi, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, had an occasion to take stock of their joint achievement when they met again briefly during a banquet given by the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on Friday night.

While the response in some sections of Pakistani public opinion to last week's joint statement has been muted, Gen. Musharraf told the Asian-African Summit in his speech earlier in the day that India and Pakistan should be proud of the progress the peace process has made so far. He referred, inter alia, to his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister and hailed the impetus that bilateral relations between the two countries had received as a result. Saying that the world faced a danger from terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he called for a joint mechanism to safeguard international peace.

In earlier remarks to the visiting Indian media delegation, Dr. Singh said he believed India and Pakistan had charted a course of action which would "yield substantial results in the months and years to come".

The banquet where the two leaders met and exchanged notes was in honour of the more than 50 heads of state and government attending the Asian-African Summit 2005. Pakistan and India were among the five original sponsors of the 1955 Bandung Conference of Asian and African countries.

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