India, Pakistan talks signal thaw – I hope

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan agreed today to resume peace talks between their top diplomats and work toward rebuilding trust shattered by the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that New Delhi blamed on Pakistani militants.

Officials said India’s Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, agreed on the need to normalise relations dogged by more than six decades of hostility since both gained independence from Britain. They deputed their foreign ministers to meet at a later date to discuss the resumption of a wide-ranging formal dialogue that began in 2004, but was suspended after the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.

The two prime ministers met for more than an hour in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, on the sidelines of a summit of south Asian leaders. It was their first meeting in eight months…

The two prime ministers “agreed that relations between the two countries should be normalised and the channels of contact should work effectively to enlarge the constituency of peace in both countries,” Nirupama Rao told reporters…

India and Pakistan have been under pressure to resume their peace dialogue – which eased historic tensions although it made little headway on the key issue of Kashmir, which they both claim in entirety and have fought two of their three wars over since gaining independence in 1947.

Overdue. I always say that. I always mean it. RTFA.

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