In a special gesture at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, Musharraf walked up to Vajpayee, offering his hand of sincere friendship and shook hands with him.
Musharraf‘s offer of friendship was part of Pakistan‘s desire to resolve all the outstanding differences with India through talks and urged India to pull back its troops and settle for a dialogue.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf gave a tough speech, saying that Pakistan, a victim of terrorism, is now part of a global alliance against terrorism and a distinction should be made between terrorist groups and resistance movements / freedom fighters.
He ended on a high note by saying that he was using the “exalted forum of the SAARC to extend a sincere hand of friendship to Prime Minister Vajpayee.” And then he walked down, went up to Vajpayee.
Vajpayee, who seemed to be sitting with his eyes closed, rose and shook hands, and there was applause in the hall.
Musharraf had, it became clear, scored a moral point. He made India out to be a sullen and sulky neighbor.
It appeared that Vajpayee did not know what to do when Musharraf walked up to him. Vajpayee walked out for a moment, came back and inserted a note in his speech, which seemed to have been written in a hurry by a speechwriter.
And when it was his turn to speak Vajpayee looked disappointed and perplexed as he reeled off India‘s ‘oft-repeated tale of woe’.