x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

India and Pakistan leaders hold first summit in months

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, held their first meeting in more than nine months.

THIMPHU, BHUTAN // Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, held their first meeting in more than nine months today, signalling a thaw in icy relations since the deadly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The talks lasted for an hour and 15 minutes and were held in Thimphu, the capital of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, on the sidelines of a regional meeting of leaders from South Asian countries.

Details about the talks were not immediately available, said Muthu Kumar, a spokesman of the Indian prime minister's office. Singh and Gilani had earlier met for talks at the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh in July. Peace talks between India and Pakistan were stalled after a terror attack on Mumbai, India's financial hub, in 2008 in which 166 people were killed. New Delhi blamed the attacks on Pakistan-based militants.

India and Pakistan have been under pressure to resume the dialogue despite New Delhi's continued insistence that Pakistan has not done enough to rein in Muslim extremists. India says Pakistan must do more to dismantle terror bases in that country and has given Islamabad dossiers on those linked to the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan is trying seven men on charges they planned and carried out the Mumbai attacks, but the militant network blamed for the assault continues to operate relatively freely in the country.

* AP