India, Pakistan agreed to open new chapter in strained relationship
The prime ministers of India and Pakistan agreed Thursday to open a new chapter in their relations after meeting on the sidelines of a regional summit in the Maldives, news reports said.
Indian premier Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani were attending the first day of the two-day South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, DPA reported.
"We have wasted a lot of time in acrimonious debate in the past," Singh was quoted as saying after the meeting at the island's Addu Atoll.
"The time has come to write a new chapter in relations between India and Pakistan," he said, according to the IANS news agency.
Gilani said, "We had a good meeting. I think the next round of talks would be more constructive, more positive and open a new chapter in the history of both the countries."
Talks were suspended in 2008 after 166 people were killed in Mumbai by terrorist attacks that India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
But both leaders decided to resume the dialogue in February to reduce tensions and rebuild trust.
In July, foreign ministers from both countries met in New Delhi and said relations were on the "right track."
In Thursday's hour-long talk, the leaders discussed the disputes over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, as well as India's concerns over cross-border terrorism and trade issues.
On Wednesday, Indian foreign minister SM Krishna said the "trust deficit" between the nuclear-armed neighbours was narrowing. Pakistan recently announced that it would grant special status to India to ease cross-border trade.