Officials from India and Pakistan began another round of peace talks today after the recent arrest of a key suspect in the terror attack on India’s financial capital four years ago.
Talks between India’s foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani are being held two weeks after the suspect told Indian investigators that Pakistan’s intelligence agency officials were present in a Karachi control room while he and others directed attackers on the ground in Mumbai.
Last month, India and Pakistan held inconclusive talks on resolving long-standing disputes over a glacier in the Himalayas and a maritime boundary.
The latest meeting is expected to prepare the agenda for talks between the countries’ foreign ministers that are likely to be held next month.
The talks would focus on peace and security, including the threat posed by terrorism, the decades-old dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and confidence-building measures to push closer ties.
Mr Jilani told reporters he had been “mandated by the Pakistani leadership to move the peace process forward”.
Indian officials are likely to press Islamabad over its failure to crack down on terror camps operated in Pakistan by Islamic militant groups.
Ties between the nuclear-armed rivals were fractured by the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 10 Pakistani terrorists killed 166 people in a three-day siege.
Ties have improved gradually. They have worked to thaw relations over the past two years by pushing trade and increasing people-to-people contacts.
But they are far from resolving their conflict over Kashmir, which is divided between them while both claim it entirely.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain, and two were over Kashmir.