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India, Pakistan ‘to hold high-level talks’

22 January 2016 13:33



Senior Indian and Pakistani official will soon meet for the first round of high-level talks aimed at easing tensions between the two neighboring states, a government official in New Delhi says.

The unnamed senior Indian official said Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar would meet with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in Islamabad. He did not say exactly when.

“We are resolving the scheduling problem as both the Foreign Secretaries have busy diplomatic schedule in the coming days but we are confident of finding a convenient date for their meeting soon,” the official said.

India and Pakistan are expected to discuss all outstanding issues between the two sides, including terrorism and the dispute over Kashmir.

India-Pakistan foreign secretary-level talks scheduled for January 15 were delayed after a group of militants stormed the Pathankot military airbase in the northwestern Indian state of Punjab on January 2.

New Delhi blames assailants belonging to a Pakistan-based militant group for the attack on the base, which resulted in the death of at least seven Indian soldiers.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Indian Foreign Ministry officials had said that the talks would take place only if Pakistan took action against those behind the attack on the airbase.

Pakistan and India have been engaged in hostility over Kashmir ever since their independence from British rule and their partition in 1947. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. Pakistan controls one-third of Kashmir, with the remaining two-thirds under India’s control.

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