Pakistan, India to discuss Kashmir on second day of talks
The heads of the Pakistani and Indian foreign offices were to meet Friday to discuss the dispute over Kashmir but no major breakthrough was expected, officials said, DPA reported.
The divided Himalayan region of Kashmir is a source of ongoing friction between Pakistan and India, who have fought two wars over it since their independence from Britain in 1947.
Friday's talks in Islamabad were scheduled for two sessions: In the morning session, Kashmir was to be discussed, and in the afternoon, the two sides would discuss "friendly exchanges to promote peace and confidence," an Pakistani foreign ministry official said.
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir, were heading their respective delegations in the two-day talks, set to conclude Friday.
Under the Pakistani and Indian systems, the foreign secretaries are the most senior civil servants in the foreign office, which is overseen by the Foreign Ministry.
No official statement was issued after the Thursday session, but the English-language daily The News reported that they discussed confidence-building measures regarding the two countries' nuclear weapons capabilities and other aspects of peace and security.
Earlier Thursday, the Indian foreign secretary said she had come to Pakistan with an "open mind and a constructive spirit in order to work towards building trust and confidence in our relationship."
The two foreign sectaries were also to prepare the agenda for talks between their foreign ministers in New Delhi next month.
Peace talks resumed in February after India suspended its participation in response to the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, in which more than 160 people died.
India has blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba for the attack.