Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warships to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Asia-pacific

India and Pakistan peace talks back on the table

Video by Achren ALLAHVERDIAN , Oliver FARRY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-10

Heralding a "new chapter" in their relationship, India and Pakistan announced Thursday they would resume peace talks that stalled following the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

AP - India and Pakistan announced Thursday they would resume wide-ranging peace talks that were frozen after the 2008 terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai, which were blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

The U.S. has been pressing the nuclear-armed rivals to restart their peace efforts in hopes that reducing tensions along their border would free Pakistan to focus on its fight against Taliban militants - a key element of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

The decision followed talks Sunday between the foreign secretaries of the two countries in Bhutan, the latest in a yearlong string of meetings of top officials intended to rebuild the nations’ shattered trust.

A statement released simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad said the new talks would focus on counterterrorism, humanitarian issues, peace and security, the disputed Kashmir region and other border issues.

The foreign minister of Pakistan will visit India by July to review the progress of the talks.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani welcomed the talks and praised his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, for the “opening of a new chapter in the relations between the two countries, which Pakistan fully reciprocates.”

India and Pakistan have fought three wars - two of them over Kashmir - since they won independence from Britain in 1947. Kashmir is divided between the two countries, which both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

India broke off reportedly fruitful peace efforts after 10 militants from Pakistan laid siege to the financial capital of Mumbai in November 2008, killing 166 people.

India has accused Pakistani intelligence of being intricately involved in the planning of that attack, and insisted it would not return to the negotiating table until Pakistan cracks down on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for carrying it out.

Pakistani officials have bristled at criticism they are not doing enough, noting that seven suspects in the Mumbai attacks have been put on trial. Islamabad says it needs more evidence from Indian investigators to make additional indictments.

But India has criticized Pakistan’s handling of the prosecution. The trial
has been slowed by several procedural delays and the judge has been changed
three times. The only gunman to survive the assault, Ajmal Kasab, has been
sentenced to death in India.

Indian officials did not offer any explanation Thursday as to why they changed their minds.
“It’s a manifestation of confusion and indecision by the Indian government,” said G. Parthasarthy, former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan.

The government only initiated the first peace talks, which began in 2004, after receiving assurances from Pakistan that it would not allow its territory to be used for attacks on India, he said. This time, no such assurance was given, he said.

For its part, Pakistan has called on New Delhi to take action against those responsible for the Feb. 18, 2007, bombing of a train on the Pakistan-India route set up during an earlier thaw in relations that killed 68 passengers. Last month, a Hindu nationalist confessed to an Indian court that Hindu hard-liners were involved in that attack.

The talks over the past year were clearly aimed at finding a way to bring both sides back to the peace table. However, that effort appeared to have foundered in July after the foreign ministers of both countries held a tense meeting in Islamabad.

The press conference after that meeting was delayed six hours as the two sides debated what to say publicly. When they finally emerged to address reporters, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi lashed out at a top Indian official for his accusation that
Pakistani intelligence was behind the Mumbai attack.

India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, then brushed off accusations his country was supporting insurgents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province and shot back that there had been an increase in militant infiltrations from Pakistan into Indian-held Kashmir. Qureshi denied Pakistan was behind any infiltrations.

Until Sunday, that was the last high-level meeting between the two sides.

U.S. government officials have been encouraging talks among India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as a way to bring stability to the troubled region. The U.S. also hopes a peace deal to the bitter conflict would free up Pakistani forces to turn their attention to the militants operating along the rugged, mountainous border with Afghanistan.

That area is thought to be used as a staging ground for attacks against U.S. forces inside Afghanistan.

The decision to resume talks came amid ongoing instability within the Pakistani government. Gilani dissolved his Cabinet on Wednesday, promising to replace it with a smaller, cheaper, group of ministers in a concession to opposition leaders whose support it needs.
 

Date created : 2011-02-10

  • INDIA

    Despite trade deals, Indians 'disappointed' with Obama on Pakistan

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Obama pays tribute to Mumbai victims, boosts trade with India

    Read more

COMMENT(S)