Manmohan denies US hand in Indo-Pak Havana talks

New Delhi, September 18 :

Indian Prime Minister Mamohan Singh today denied that pressure from the United States was behind weekend talks between Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that led to an agreement to resume stalled peace talks.

“The world likes neighbours to work with each other,” Singh told reporters onboard his aircraft en route home from the Cuban capital, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. “I totally deny any insinuation that whatever was done with Pakistan is at the

behest of the US or any other country. It is a question of our own sovereign national interest,” he said. Both countries have good relations with the US. India and the US have grown increasingly closer in recent years with relations bolstered by a landmark civilian nuclear agreement.

Singh and Musharraf, who met on the sidelines of the Non-aligned Movement summit in Havana, agreed to resume peace talks that had been suspended since the July bombings in Mumbai.

Singh said he was optimistic, but cautious about the future of the peace process. “Let us give it a try. Let us approach our state of reconciliation with all the sincerity that we can bring to bear,” PTI quoted him as saying.