05/21/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN – INDIA
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New India-Pakistan talks start in Islamabad

After a six-month chill the two governments warm up and begin to talk again. The fight against terrorism and the Kashmir issue top their agenda. Musharraf takes part but only out of “courtesy”.

Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – After a six-month hiatus called by New Delhi after Pakistani President Pervez Musahrraf imposed a state of emergency, a new round of talks opened between the governments of Pakistan and India with the fight against terrorism as their main topic. Political leaders and foreign ministers from the two countries also expressed their desire to solve the Kashmir issue and especially deal with the fundamentalist problem that has affected both in the last few months.

Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the late Benazir Bhutto and currently acting leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, said that Kashmir has been dragging on for generations and should not be left to the next one.

President Musharraf also met Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukerjee, but the Pakistani government was quick to explain that the meeting was “a courtesy call”.

Mr Mukerjee will meet tonight his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in what is the first foreign minister-level meeting in more than 18 months.

“Her (Bhutto's) loss is still a fresh wound. Not just Pakistan, but our entire region has lost a charismatic leader of great promise, foresight and capability,” said India’s foreign minister, who also cited her “tragic assassination” as an example of the need to end terrorism.

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