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Pakistan Releases 17 Indian Prisoners

Pakistan has released 17 Indian nationals as a goodwill gesture ahead of talks with a top official from New Delhi this week.

The prisoners were released Wednesday at the Wagah border near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.

Their release came as Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao flew to Islamabad for talks on Thursday with her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir. The two are expected to discuss a series of bilateral issues, with a focus on counter-terrorism cooperation and building trust.

Rao is the first senior Indian official to travel to Pakistan since the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks that led to the suspension of peace talks between the rival nations.

India blames a Pakistani-based militant group for the three-day siege on India's financial capital, which left more than 166 people dead.

This week's talks will set the agenda for a meeting between Pakistani and Indian foreign ministers next month.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.