Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday toned down expectations for his planned meeting with Premier Nawaz Sharif this weekend at the UN, saying Pakistan remained an "epicenter of terrorism."
Singh, making what will likely be a farewell visit to the White House after a decade in power, told US President Barack Obama that India still faced "difficulties" because of the activities of its neighbor and bitter rival.
Singh and Sharif are expected to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York despite the tensions. A diplomat said the talks were expected Sunday morning.
"I look forward to the meeting with Nawaz Sharif even though the expectations have to be toned down given the terror arm which is still active in our subcontinent," Singh told reporters in the Oval Office.
Singh told Obama that India was facing difficulties because the "epicenter of terrorist activity remains focused in Pakistan."
India has blamed militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and even elements of the Pakistani state for attacks on its soil.
Deadly skirmishes across the de facto border in divided Kashmir meanwhile have jeopardized the atmosphere for the meeting in New York.
Since winning an election in May, Sharif has been vocal in his desire for better relations with India, but the recent flare-ups have overshadowed the prospects.
Earlier, Sharif warmed up for the expected talks by saying that a nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan was a huge waste of money.
"Our two countries have wasted massive resources in an arms race," Sharif said in his speech to the General Assembly. "We could have used those resources for the economic well-being of our people," he added.