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Inconclusive Talks Expose Divide Between India, Pakistan

VOA News
16 July 2010

The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are trading blame for the lack of tangible progress during Thursday's talks aimed at rebuilding trust between the two rival countries.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Friday that his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna focused exclusively on militancy and terrorism at the expense of ignoring issues important to Pakistan.

Qureshi held talks with Krishna Thursday in Islamabad, their first meeting since the Mumbai attacks derailed peace negotiations nearly two years ago.

The Indian foreign minister told reporters in New Delhi Friday that efforts to improve ties between India and Pakistan would fail unless Pakistan takes steps to fight terrorism originating from its its territory. But Krishna also played down differences, saying he believed the talks had helped to build confidence.

At a tense press conference Thursday, both sides only pledged to hold further discussions.

Security remains India's top concern following the attacks on Mumbai carried out by a Pakistani militant group, which killed 166 people.

The three-day siege dominated the talks, but the foreign ministers also discussed the disputed region of Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Thursday's discussions were somewhat overshadowed by comments a day earlier from India's Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, who accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of playing a much more significant role in planning the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people.

Pakistan's foreign minister condemned the comments, saying both he and Krishna felt they were uncalled for.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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