High-level Indian and Pakistani officials held talks on Tuesday against the backdrop of a recent terror attack that killed 20 people in India’s financial capital. Just five months later the nations resumed bilateral discussions, both countries said they viewed the efforts so far as positive and the groundwork for further improvement.
”This is essentially a preparatory round,” Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters before meeting Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi. ”We had a very good meeting in Islamabad last month, and this has, in a sense, set the trend for our discussions here today.”
Since February, Indian and Pakistani officials have discussed a range of issues including terrorism threats, cooperation on the 2008 Mumbai attacks investigation and the divided Himalayan territory of Kashmir, which both sides claim in its entirety.
Tuesday’s talks lasted a few hours, but the discussions were not detailed afterward.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters in Islamabad on Tuesday that the talks were the “only way forward to improve ties with India.”
India’s defense minister also said the two sides would hopefully “be able to find a solution in the long run,” but would plan for contingencies.
“We will continue dialogue on the one side and on the other side, we will strengthen our national security apparatus,” Defense Minister A.K. Antony said.