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    » 06/17/2009, 00.00

    PAKISTAN - INDIA

    Thawing relations between Pakistan and India

    Qaiser Felix

    Indian Prime Minister Singh and Pakistani President Zardari meet at the 9th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The two nations plan to renew talks interrupted by the Mumbai terror attack, starting with a meeting of their respective foreign minister in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.
    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – After months of tensions following the Mumbai terror attack India and Pakistan are talking again. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari met on Monday in Yekaterinburg, Russia, for the 9th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). For most commentators the meeting was a first step in rebuilding the relationship between the two countries.

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he and his Indian counterpart, Shivshankar Menon, had agreed to meet “at mutually convenient dates” in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt. The focus of this meeting will be the fight against terrorism as a first step towards resuming broader bilateral relations.

    In Islamabad Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said that during secretarial level talks the two countries would not tackle the issue of Transit Trade with Afghanistan (TTA), an agreement that exempts Afghanistan from paying custom duties to Pakistan.

    The issue is important, and not only for India, because Pakistan has been accused of allowing the Taliban to use the TTA to raise funds and engage in racketeering. However, for Islamabad this issue is separate and will not be on the table during the first round of renewed talks with India. 

    Relations between the two South Asian nations have always been tense. In 2004 direct talks began anew, with ups and downs lasting till 2008 when terror attacks in Mumbai led the Indians to freeze them.

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    See also

    08/10/2008 PAKISTAN - AFGHANISTAN
    Army responds to Pakistani parliament today about "war on terror"
    There is great anticipation to learn the exact situation of a war that the new government wants to win in order to uproot to militant extremism. Meanwhile, Islamabad is expelling about 50,000 Afghan refugees, and Afghanistan is seeking peace with the Taliban of Mullah Omar.

    27/03/2009 PAKISTAN
    Mosque attacked in Pakistan. At least 70 dead
    A suicide attacker blew himself up shortly after the start of Friday prayers. There were more than 400 faithful present at the place of worship. The tribal areas on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan are the theater of a massive offensive by rebel groups, and of a sectarian struggle between Sunnis and Shiites.

    16/07/2009 INDIA – PAKISTAN
    India and Pakistan find points of agreement as Islamabad pledges action against terrorism
    Prime Minister Singh of India and Prime Minister Gilani of Pakistan meet on the sidelines of the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. They discuss the Mumbai attacks and the dismantlement of extremist groups operating on Pakistani territory.

    02/07/2010 AFGHANISTAN
    Afghanistan’s future in mining, not opium
    The country is a treasure trove of minerals and precious metals. However, exploiting deposits is a high-risk job because of the danger of attacks. India and China are trying to take a leading role in developing the sector. The Taliban want instead to stop any alternative economic development to maintain their hold on the opium trade.

    07/10/2010 PAKISTAN
    Nowshera, another 50 NATO trucks burn. The U.S. apologizes to Pakistan
    The assailants chanted religious songs and shouting for jihad against the United States. A driver died in the attack. The tanker trucks were parked for days after the Pakistani army decision to the border with Afghanistan. The police asks for an agreement with the provincial government for the control and security of convoys.



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