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Pakistan, India meet on Kashmir


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India and Pakistan's leaders work on cross-border ties.
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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf met for two-and-half hours in a bid to negotiate a solution to the conflict in the disputed region of Kashmir.

A spokesman for the Indian leader said the Sunday talks were "wide ranging" and were "held under a very warm atmosphere."

After the two-and-half hour discussion, Singh and Musharraf left for a luncheon at Singh's house.

After the meetings, Musharraf told reporters he was very pleased with the talks, calling a good sign for peace in the subcontinent.

The Indian Foreign Secretary said Singh stressed in the talks that Pakistan should not allow its territory to be used as a staging ground for terrorist acts against India.

He said Singh also made it clear India would not agree to redrawing any of the Kashmir borders, but he would push for more economic ties between both sides.

Joint announcements and confidence building measures were expected later Sunday, including creation of a trade council between the two countries and a reduction in the number of troops along their borders, officials said.

In an exchange of gifts, Singh gave Musharraf -- who was born in India -- an Indian birth certificate and a painting of his ancestral home.

Musharraf and Singh attended a cricket game between Pakistan and India before their meeting. After the leaders left, the game was temporarily delayed when Indian fans tossed bottles onto the pitch as their team was losing. Pakistan's players briefly left the field.

"We must find technical ways and means to resolve all outstanding issues between us in a reasonable, pragmatic manner cognizant of the ground realities," Singh said before the meeting.

Musharraf said he hoped for "a substantive dialogue which lays the foundation for a forward momentum on all those issues."

India and Pakistan each control a section of Kashmir, which was divided in 1947 by a Line of Control. A small portion of the region is administered by China.

On a 2001 trip to India, Musharraf's efforts to negotiate a solution failed.

But this time, there is a more relaxed atmosphere between the two countries. There have been cross-border cultural exchanges, and earlier this month a bus route linking Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and Indian-controlled Kashmir resumed after more than five decades.

Singh is expected to tell Musharraf that acts of terror committed by Pakistanis who sneak into the Indian side of Kashmir must stop.

"The working relationship which is developing between Musharraf and Manmohan Singh is seen as a very welcome sign in Pakistan," journalist Fahd Husain told CNN.

Both countries, eager to embrace peace, support the talks.

--CNN New Delhi Bureau Chief Satinder Bindra contributed to this report.


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