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Pakistan, India to begin 2-day talks today

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 23, IRNA -- The Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries will begin two-day talks in Islamabad later on Thursday, to discuss the longstanding Kashmir dispute, Peace and Security and confidence building measures, officials said.

Sources said the two foreign secretaries will set the stage for talks between their foreign ministers later this year.

Secretary of External Affairs Nirupama Rao will lead the Indian delegation while Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir will head the Pakistani side.

During that meeting, the two sides will agree to resume their comprehensive dialogue on all bilateral issues to resolve the outstanding issues in a constructive and forward-looking manner, two years after India put on hold the Composite Dialogue process with Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

This would be their first engagement since they met in February in Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital, on the sidelines of the South Asian summit.

The talks between the top diplomats could lead to the revival of political talks at the ministerial level since the failed talks in mid-July last year, officials said.

Diplomatic sources said that the Indian side will also raise the issue of terrorism in the context of security issues and will also press for effective actions against those behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

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