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India, Pakistan pledge humanitarian effort

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
  • India: Both ministers reviewed status of trial in Pakistan of Mumbai suspects
  • Indian minister thanks Pakistani counterpart for release of 100 Indian fishermen
  • India released 31 Pakistani fishermen under its custody, Indian minister Krishna says
  • India "paused" peace dialogue with Pakistan after November 2008 Mumbai attacks
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • New Delhi

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- India and Pakistan vowed cooperation on humanitarian issues, officials in New Delhi said, more than a year after a deadly terror attack in Mumbai derailed the fragile peace process between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

India's external affairs minister S.M. Krishna held a telephone conversation Wednesday with his Pakistani counterpart, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, according to the Indian government.

Krishna thanked him for the recent release of 100 Indian fishermen from Pakistani custody, an official statement said.

The Indian leader expressed the hope about 500 more allegedly detained by Pakistan would also be freed soon, it added.

India has released 31 Pakistani fishermen under its custody, Krishna noted. India will set free 19 others soon whose nationality Krishna said has been confirmed by Pakistan.

"The two leaders agreed to pursue further cooperation on other humanitarian issues, such as those relating to prisoners," the Indian external affairs ministry said.

In the wake of the November 2008 siege of its financial capital of Mumbai, India "paused" its peace dialogue with Pakistan. Authorities in New Delhi accuse militants in Pakistan of plotting the assault that left 164 people killed.

In his conversation with Qureshi, Krishna reiterated his country's call to Pakistan to dismantle bases of suspected anti-India insurgents.

Both also reviewed the status of the current trial in Pakistan of the Mumbai attack suspects, the Indian government said.

Krishna urged the Pakistani leader to keep India briefed about the progress in the Mumbai case and "unravel the full conspiracy" behind the strikes, it said.