Kashmir to feature in peace talks

March 14, 2007 - 0:0
KASHMIR (BBC) -- The rivals have fought two wars over Kashmir India and Pakistan are due to begin a fresh round of peace talks expected to focus on the disputed region of Kashmir and limiting nuclear weapons.

Indian foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammed Khan will hold the two-day talks in Islamabad.

The talks come days after the regional rivals held discussions for the first time on fighting terrorism together.

The nations began peace moves in 2004 but progress has been slow.

The divided region of Kashmir remains the big sticking point between the two rivals -- India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, since both became independent from British rule in 1947. ---------Little progress

Travel and sport links have been restored since then but little progress has been made over Kashmir.

"They have two specific issues before them which they will discuss. These are Jammu and Kashmir dispute and peace and security," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam was quoted as saying on Tuesday's talks by the AFP news agency.

Last week, the two sides agreed to exchange specific information that could help ongoing investigations or prevent terrorist attacks.

Pakistani officials say the Indians have given them the sketch of a suspect said to be from Pakistan and allegedly involved in the firebombing of a train last month which killed many Pakistani passengers.

The two countries have also recently signed an agreement aimed at reducing the risk of accidental nuclear war in the region. Both countries have nuclear-capable weapons.

Two years ago, they agreed to give each other notice of nuclear missile tests and in 1985 they signed an accord not to attack each other's nuclear installations.