India, Pakistan agree to resume peace talks

The peace talks were broken off by New Delhi after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Updated: Feb 10, 2011, 16:19 PM IST

New Delhi: India and Pakistan announced on Thursday they will resume wide-ranging peace talks that were frozen after the 2008 terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai, which were blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

The US has been pressing the nuclear-armed rivals to restart their peace efforts in hopes that reducing tensions along their border would free Pakistan to focus on its fight against Taliban militants — a key element of US strategy in Afghanistan.

The decision followed talks on Sunday between the foreign secretaries of the two countries in Bhutan, the latest in a yearlong string of meetings of top officials intended to rebuild the nations` shattered trust.

A statement released simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad said the new talks will focus on counterterrorism, humanitarian issues, peace and security, the disputed Kashmir region and other border issues.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani welcomed the talks and praised his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, for the "opening of a new chapter in the relations between the two countries, which Pakistan fully reciprocates”.

Bureau Report