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India, Pakistan Call for New Cooperation

Kurt Achin | New Delhi July 27, 2011

India and Pakistan have promised to initiate new trade and travel contacts across a disputed border, following rare Foreign Minister-level talks between Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

India and Pakistan say they will double the opportunity for traders to cross of the so-called “Line of Control” in disputed Kashmir, from 2 to 4 days a week. They also promised to expand travel opportunities for tourism and religious pilgrimages across the tense border.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars for control of the Kashmir Valley, and the dispute remains the key irritant in diplomacy between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Standing alongside Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar, Krishna said the two countries agree on a key security issue.

“We have agreed that terrorism poses a continuing threat," he said. "We have also agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism, to bring those responsible for terror crimes to justice.”

Khar says she brings wishes from Pakistan for a “new chapter of amity and understanding.”

“There has been a mind set change in the people of the two countries that you must acknowledge,” said Khar.

Khar, at 34 years old, is Pakistan's youngest-ever foreign minister. She says she expects younger generations will experience new and better relations between both countries than in previous decades.

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