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Formal Manmohan-Gilani meeting not scheduled

South Korea,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 IANS

Seoul, March 25 (IANS) Prime ministers of India and Pakistan could interact on the sidelines of the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit but no structured meeting is planned between them, Pakistan's envoy to South Korea said Sunday.


"No structured meeting is planned, but a pull aside is always possible," Ambassador Shaukat Mukadam told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremonial reception accorded to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a two-day official visit to South Korea after which he will attend the Nuclear Security Summit.


Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani "has a very tight schedule. He is arriving here only this evening and will stay till the 28th", Mukadam said. "There are possibilities....there are various places to meet, they could meet in readers' lounge," the envoy said when asked whether the Indian side had made any approach for a meeting.


"Pull aside? That possibility is always there," Mukadam added.


He also said that Gilani and US President Barack Obama would meet on the sidelines of the summit.


Mukadam also allayed Indian fears about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear assets.


"There shouldn't be any fear of any type. All our installations are well guarded. They are the best facilities," he said.


"We are absolutely safe. We have the best command and control systems in place."


"There are no fears absolutely whatsoever," Mukadam added.


The Pakistani reassurance came even as Indian officials expressed concern about the security of Pakistan's nuclear assets.


"From what we are seeing in Pakistan, there is a problem. There are concerns over security," the officials had told Indian journalists.


"The threat of nuclear terrorism is very real. There is a big concern on security if nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands. Events like the Nuclear Security Summit can help," the officials said.


At the Nuclear Security Summit, Manmohan Singh will join 57 world leaders, including Obama, to discuss the global threat posed by nuclear terrorism and the measures required to prevent terrorists from gaining access to sensitive nuclear material and technologies.


In his departure statement in New Delhi Friday, Manmohan Singh called for maintaining the highest levels of nuclear security and safety to retain public support for harnessing the benefits of atomic energy.


(Vishnu Makhijani can be contacted at


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