India and Pakistan agree to resume talks

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The Independent Online
ISLAMABAD - The announcement by India and Pakistan yesterday that they are to resume talks was described by Pakistani officials as a breakthrough, but they added that Islamabad will maintain pressure on New Delhi to ease a crackdown in Kashmir, Reuter reports. 'It breaks the hiatus,' said an official. In a joint statement, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Shaharyar Mohammad Khan, and his Indian counterpart, Mani Dixit, said they would meet in Islamabad for three days from 1 January.

It will be the first attempt by the two foes to address their differences since August 1992, which ended an 18-month spell of six meetings. 'We hope we will be able to hold substantive talks,' the official said. But officials and Western diplomats held little hope of a swift improvement in ties.