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Nuclear Rivals Pakistan and India Restart Peace Talks


Top Indian and Pakistani officials are meeting to review the peace process, in their first meeting since a new civilian government took power in Pakistan.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir, opened the talks in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, Tuesday, with the focus on terrorism, drugs, economic cooperation, and the disputed region of Kashmir.

Today's meeting will be followed on Wednesday by talks between Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Pakistan's Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

They are the first high-level discussions between the two countries since Pakistan swore in a coalition government in March.

Today, Pakistan's Interior Ministry announced Pakistan will release 96 Indian fisherman and three civilians in custody, as a good-will gesture. The two countries often detain each other's citizens, including fishermen, for straying across the border.

The majority-Hindu India and majority-Muslim Pakistan were once part of the same country, but split in 1947 after gaining independence from Britain. They have fought three wars since then - two of them over Kashmir.

Despite holding three rounds of dialogue since beginning the peace process in 2004, Pakistan and India have remained deadlocked on the issue of Kashmir. Separatist Islamic militants in the region have been fighting for independence from India or a merger with Pakistan.

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