South Asia

South Asia rivals hold Siachen glacier talks

Indian troops in Siachen
Image caption India maintains Siachen is of strategic value

Top defence officials from India and Pakistan are holding key talks over the disputed Siachen glacier.

The two-day talks between the defence secretaries of the two countries in the Indian capital Delhi come after a gap of three years.

Siachen borders Pakistani and Indian-administered portions of Kashmir and is regarded as the world's highest battlefield.

India believes that the glacier is of vital, strategic and diplomatic value.

'Terrorist camps'

The two countries agreed a ceasefire deal over the Siachen glacier in 2003 but have yet to agree on how to withdraw troops.

India's Defence Minister AK Antony said ahead of Monday's talks that "about 42 terrorist camps were still functioning in Pakistan".

"Without destroying these terrorist camps, it would be difficult to have permanent co-operation in Indo-Pakistan relations," he said.

Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours hit a low after Pakistani militants attacked India's commercial capital, Mumbai (Bombay).

The attack drove Delhi to cut ties with Islamabad, but earlier this year it announced talks could resume.

And in March the prime ministers of India and Pakistan vowed to repair relations between the countries.

Manmohan Singh hosted his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at a World Cup cricket match in the city of Mohali.

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