India and Pakistan renew peace talks

India News Bulletin Desk

Indian and Pakistani diplomats have begun a fresh round of peace and security talks to ease the on-going tension between the two countries over the November 26 (26/11) terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008 allegedly involving Pakistani militants.

Ranjan Mathai, India’s foreign secretary and his Pakistani counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani, began dialogues on Wednesday covering peace and security, dispute over Kashmir as well as measures to build stability and confidence.

Following the terror attack in 2008 on India’s financial capital, it suspended a four-year peace process with Islamabad over the alleged involvement of Islamist gunmen from Islamabad.

India and Pakistan had resumed peace dialogues only in February 2011.

The recent dialogue sessions come after the arrest of Abu Jundal, a key suspect in the 26/11 attack. The talks between the two foreign secretaries could become the starting point of a sustained round of talks between the two countries.

In addition to security threats to India from Pakistan, both countries have ongoing conflict over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. The countries have fought two wars over Kashmir since independence.

The peace talks between India and Pakistan in July received further impetus in September 2012 when Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar pledged to do more to improve relations. The two ministers signed a new visa agreement that will ease travel between the two countries. The ministers also took measures to improve bilateral trade relations as well as cultural exchanges between the two countries.

India also resumed its cricket ties with Pakistan after five years further demonstrating that the two countries are serious about mending relations which soured after the 2008 Mumbai blasts involving Pakistani militant Ajmal Kasab. Kasab was later convicted by the Supreme Court in India and awarded him a death sentence for his involvement in 26/11 tragedy.


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