India to discuss Kashmir

New Delhi - India took a significant step yesterday towards easing hostilities with Pakistan over Kashmir, the disputed Himalayan territory over which these two neighbouring states have fought two wars and remained enemies since independence from Britain more than 45 years ago, writes Tim McGirk.

The Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Shaharyar Khan, in New Delhi for three days of talks with Indian officials, revealed that for the first time India seems prepared to discuss the Kashmir border issue. He described his meetings with the Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, and the Foreign Secretary, J N Dixit, as 'the most productive' in recent years. But the Pakistani official cautioned that the two governments' 'perceptions remain widely apart' over Kashmir.