India, Pakistan agree to continue dialogue

21:40, February 25, 2010      

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India's Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao (L) shakes hands with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir before their meeting in New Delhi February 25, 2010. The top diplomats of India and Pakistan began on Thursday their first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, but hopes of progress remain limited as the rival neighbours seek to end a diplomatic freeze. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

India and Pakistan agreed to keep going the process of foreign secretary-level dialogue launched here Thursday in order to restore confidence between the two countries, said Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

Rao told a press conference after the first formal talks between the two nuclear-armed old rivals since the deadly attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in late 2008 that both sides had promised to keep in touch to restore trust damaged by the Mumbai attacks.

She also urged Pakistan to do more to crack down on terror groups behind the attack on Mumbai in November 2008 which left 174 people dead, including nine gunmen.

She did not exclude the possibility that the prime ministers of the two countries would meet at a South Asian summit in the Bhutan capital Thimpu in April. The foreign secretary said India holds the conviction that the door of dialogue with Pakistan should not be shut.

During the talks, India demanded Pakistan take more action to curb terrorism and strongly called for the arrest of Jamaat-ud- Dawaah chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks, according to Indian official sources.

Rao said she also raised the issue of infiltration of militants into Indian-controlled Kashmir from the Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

During the closed-door talks, India reportedly handed over a fresh dossier on Mumbai attacks, which contains the voice record of the Mumbai attack culprits.

The dossier also purportedly contains a fresh list of terrorists, including the details about a suspect in the Pune attack on Feb. 13, Illiyas Kashmiri, who claimed responsibility for the attack which killed 16 people.

Pakistan, on the other hand, put the long-standing Kashmir dispute on the table once again apart from alleged Indian involvement in the insurgency in Baluchistan. Enditem

Source: Xinhua
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