Accessibility links

India, Pakistan Pledge Further Engagement

India and Pakistan have pledged further engagement following talks aimed at rebuilding trust between the longtime rivals.

In their first meeting since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he and his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna had "frank, candid and honest discussions" during talks Thursday in Islamabad. The two top officials from the longtime rival nations discussed terrorism, the disputed region of Kashmir, and the war in Afghanistan.

Qureshi said the talks were part of a "resumption" of the peace dialogue but he was reticent to outline what the next steps would be. India's foreign minister also praised the talks and extended an invitation to Qureshi to visit India to continue their discussions.

The talks were dominated by India's security concerns, particularly the Mumbai attacks which it blames on Pakistani-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Thursday's meeting was somewhat overshadowed by comments a day earlier by India's Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, who accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of playing a much more significant role in planning the 2008 attacks than was earlier known.

Pakistan's foreign minister condemned the comments Thursday, saying both he and Krishna felt they were uncalled-for. Pakistan has repeatedly denied that its intelligence agency was involved in the Mumbai siege and has bristled at India's suggestion it is not doing enough to crack down on militant groups who plan attacks from Pakistani soil.

Krishna also met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who issued a statement afterward urging both governments to work more closely to "eliminate" militancy and terrorism.

The Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers also discussed India's concerns about militants infiltrating Indian-controlled Kashmir from the Pakistani side.

In Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, thousands of protesters staged anti-India sit-ins Thursday. Indian authorities said they were monitoring the situation and may re-impose curfew restrictions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.