ISLAMABAD, Dec. 27, Reuter: Senior Indian and Pakistani officials resumed talks today in a cautious search for better relations between their traditionally rival countries,

Both sides expressed hope of progress in the two-day meeting, the second contact within a week in line with a decision last month by Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi of India and Mohammad Khan Junejo of Pakistan.

No details were immediately available of the first rounds of formal talks between Indian Foreign Ministry Secretary A.P. Venkateswaran and his Pakistani counterpart Abdus Sattar.

But they were expected to have renewed discussions on a treaty banning attacks on each other’s nuclear installations.

The two South Asian countries have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed former princely Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir.

They have also been discussing for four years now their parallel Proposals for a peace treaty between them.

Venkateswaran told reporters on arrival from New Delhi they would discuss “everything which is of interest and we hope to make maximum progress’.

Sattar said he also hoped for progress, adding, “We will extend full cooperation to achieve the objectives assigned to us by the Prime Minister of the two countries”,

Relations have remained strained in recent years following Indian charges that Pakistan has helped Sikh freedom fighters campaigning for a separate homeland in the north state of Punjab. Pakistan denies the charge.

The decision to resume normalization talks was taken when Junejo visited India last month for a meeting of the seven nation South Asian Association for regional cooperation.


Last week, interior ministry officials met in the Pakistani border town of Lahore to discuss the highly charged issue of border security and agreed to step up military cooperation along their 3,000 km (1,800 miles) common frontier.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 2, 1987