Top India and Pakistan diplomats to resume talks

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Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar, left, poses for photographers, as he shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Chaudhry at the foreign ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, March 3, 2015Image source, AP
Image caption,
Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar (left) will hold talks with his counterpart AA Chaudhry

India's top diplomat has arrived in Pakistan for the first meeting between the two neighbours since New Delhi cancelled talks last year.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will discuss an upcoming regional summit with Pakistani counterpart AA Chaudhry.

Hostilities between the two neighbours have escalated over the past year, with both armies firing across the border in the disputed region of Kashmir.

A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but it is often violated.

Reports say Mr Jaishankar is officially scheduled to discuss issues relating to the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc) with Mr Chaudhry.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said the two diplomats would also discuss bilateral ties.

Signs of a thaw

"We hope that this process can lead to the resumption of the composite dialogue," Reuters quoted her as saying.

Formal peace talks known as a "composite dialogue" have been held for several years but made little headway, apart from a number of confidence-building measures.

India abruptly cancelled talks with Pakistan in August, accusing it of interfering in its internal affairs.

The move came after Pakistan's high commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of talks between the two countries' foreign secretaries.

Kashmir, claimed by both countries in its entirety, has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years and the South Asian rivals have fought two wars over the region.