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India, Pakistan to discuss counter-terrorism in New Delhi

Indian and Pakistan officials will hold counter-terrorism talks here later this week, the Indian foreign ministry said Wednesday, to build trust and allay security concerns between the two rivals.

The talks come after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari agreed in New York last month to kickstart an embattled peace dialogue between the nuclear-armed nations.

“As decided by the Prime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan … the Special Session of the Joint Anti-Terror Mechanism with Pakistan, will be held on 24 October in New Delhi,” the Indian ministry statement said.

Relations between the rivals were strained in July after New Delhi accused Islamabad’s military intelligence agency of involvement in a deadly suicide bombing of its embassy in Kabul.

Four Indians including two diplomats were among scores killed in the attack.

The joint anti-terrorism group was set up in 2006 after train bombings in India’s financial capital Mumbai in July of that year. India claimed Pakistan had a hand in the bombings which killed 186 people.

New Delhi also accuses Islamabad-backed Islamic militants of waging an insurgency in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir and of triggering attacks in other parts of the country.

Pakistan strongly denies it arms or trains the militants.

The South Asian rivals have been engaged in slow moving peace talks to normalise ties since January 2004, but there has been scant headway on Kashmir, the trigger for two of their three wars since 1947.

 














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