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India invites Pakistan to resume talks, minister says

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
Indian external affairs minister S.M. Krishna invited his Pakistani counterpart to India to resume peace talks.
Indian external affairs minister S.M. Krishna invited his Pakistani counterpart to India to resume peace talks.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The two sides held several meetings last year but did not make headway
  • They have fought three wars since 1947 over Kashmir
  • The talks stalled after the 2008 Mumbai attacks

(CNN) -- India has invited Pakistan to resume talks after last year's slow-progressing dialogue between the arch-rivals.

"I have extended an invitation to my counterpart (in Pakistan) to visit India and earnestly hope that we can take the process of dialogue forward," external affairs minister S.M. Krishna told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.

Under U.S. pressure, leaders from the two nuclear-capable neighbors held several meetings last year in a bid to re-start their fully-fledged peace process stalled by the deadly terror attacks on Mumbai in 2008.

But there has been no dramatic headway in resolving outstanding issues.

"We expect Pakistan to fulfill its repeated assurances given to us at the highest level to not allow the territory under its control for fomenting terrorism aimed against us, and to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice expeditiously," Krishna said.

The two countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947. The Himalayan territory of Kashmir, claimed by both in its entirety, has been the cause of two of those conflicts.

In 2004, India and Pakistan agreed to a peace process called the "composite dialogue" that covered eight issues, including Kashmir, terrorism and Pakistan's concerns over river dams on the Indian side, which it sees as a threat to its water supplies.

Successive governments on both sides of the border carried forward the talks, which they acknowledged as a means to ending their historical acrimony.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari hailed results from the negotiations in September 2008 as the countries completed four rounds of diplomatic meetings.

But talks were suspended two months later, in November, 2008, after the terror raid on Mumbai.

 
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