Modi seeks toughness on terrorism, trade with Pakistan in first day as India's PM

The talks came immediately after Modi's inauguration.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   May 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM   |   Comments

NEW DELHI, May 27 (UPI) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while in talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, called for a halt to militants using Pakistan to attack India.

The discussion in New Delhi came a day after Modi was inaugurated -- an event to which Sharif, in a surprise move, was invited.

Modi's recent massive victory in the Indian presidential election provided him an opportunity to make policy without the need to seek political coalitions to support him. The talks with Sharif reduced Modi's image as a strident nationalist, and strengthened Sharif's civilian government in its dealings with New Delhi.

The warning, that Pakistan must prevent militants from using the country as a staging grounds for incursions into India, is being regarded as a blunt but breakthrough demand. Modi also demanded Pakistan accelerate a trial of suspected attackers in a four-day assault of Mumbai in 2008 that left over 160 people dead -- another core issue to Indians.

Sharif later said he was open to discussing "all issues," taken to include the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Both prime ministers are regarded as pro-business, and they also agreed to make trade and investment priorities in their countries' dealings with each other.

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