News / Asia

India Offers to Resume Bilateral Talks With Pakistan

India is proposing resuming high-level talks with Pakistan for the first time since peace negotiations between the two nuclear powers were suspended following the November 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

The Press Trust of India says the Indian officials are seeking talks between foreign secretaries on issues that include terrorism.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says his country welcomes the offer to resume bilateral talks.

India and Pakistan launched meetings in 2004 to address issues including the disputed border region of Kashmir.  However, the contacts stalled after the siege in Mumbai killed more than 160 people.  India blames Pakistan-based militants for the Mumbai raid.

Word of the possible resumption of talks comes ahead of a visit to Pakistan by India's home minister.  Palaniappan Chidambaram is scheduled to attend a two-day regional security meeting that begins February 26.

He will be the first high-level Indian official to visit Pakistan since the Mumbai attacks.

Separately, Chidambaram says the terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks may have been guided by an Indian "handler." His comments mark the first time the government has admitted at least one of the attackers could be Indian.

The home minister said Thursday the handler also could be someone who had familiarity with Hindi, or an Indian who had traveled from India to Pakistan to join a militant group.

He says investigators are calling the suspect Abu Jindal but they do not believe that is his real name.



Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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