India hints at restarting talks with Pakistan

Any dialogue with Islamabad presupposes an environment free of violence, says Foreign Secretary India.

Afp August 01, 2013
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

NEW DELHI, INDIA: India hinted Thursday at restarting peace talks with rival Pakistan that stalled over clashes earlier this year in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said India would be "picking up the threads" of peace talks with the new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which was elected in May.

"There is a new government in Pakistan now. We will be picking up the threads from where we left off with the old government," Singh, the top official in the ministry, told reporters in New Delhi on her first day in the job.

Singh however said that any dialogue with Islamabad "presupposes an environment free of violence and of terror".

Sharif Thursday repeated his call for rapprochement.

"We will boost trade, we will boost business and will boost investment with India," the premier told reporters in Karachi.

"We will also try our best to solve all longstanding issues with India, including Kashmir."

New Delhi broke off peace talks with Islamabad after gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008, an attack which India blamed on Pakistani militants.

Talks resumed in 2011 with two rounds that focused largely on trade and visas. But relations soured again in January and February this year after six soldiers in total from both sides were killed in exchanges along the de facto border in Kashmir, a region claimed by both countries.

Tension has continued between the nuclear-armed nations in recent months, with both sides protesting at the deaths of prisoners held by the other.


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Lala Gee | 10 years ago | Reply


"@Lala Gee: We know how you treated Jinnah. Do I have to remind you how he died?"

What happened with Jinnah is nothing more than unproven theories, but what happened with your "Bapu", Gandhi, is very well known and beyond doubt. A fanatic Hindu belonging to the Hindu extremist organization, RSS, with the blessings of the party cheif, killed him for his sins of being open minded and kindhearted. While you punished the culprit for his crime, strangely though, nowadays you guys are not only vehemently defending another fanatic of the very same organization, Mr. Narendra Modi, who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Indian Muslim citizens, but also trying your best to make him the next Primer Minister of India. What a turn around? Jinnah was intelligent enough to see it coming at least 70 years earlier for which every Pakistani should be greatly indebted to him.

Commonsense is not common | 10 years ago | Reply

@Lala Gee: In India there is no restriction on Hindu or muslim ideological organizations. Can you understand something as simple as freedom to profess and propagate any religion? It's enshrined in our constitution. Hence we have hindu organisations like RSS, VHP and Muslim organisations like Deobandis, Barevalis, wakf boards etc are free to run organisations in their name and propagate their religion. Similarily we have Aligarh Muslim University, Benaras Hindu University etc which retain their religious character.Have a look at some of the Islamic organizations of India

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