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India, Pakistan meet in Bhutan: report

Home minister P Chidambaram met on Saturday for talks with his Pakistani ounterpart, Rehman Malik, warning terrorism posed the most significant "challenge" to security in South Asia.

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2011 02:25 IST

Home minister P Chidambaram met on Saturday for talks with his Pakistani ounterpart, Rehman Malik, warning terrorism posed the most significant "challenge" to security in South Asia.

Chidambaram and Malik met on the sidelines of a South Asia Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in Bhutanese capital Thimpu, their second one-to-one interaction since an encounter in Islamabad last year, the Press Trust of India said.

Malik told reporters the meeting was "very good" and held in a "very cordial atmosphere," the news agency quoted him as saying.

He said issues of mutual interest were discussed, without disclosing details.

There was no immediate comment from the Indian delegation attending the meeting, which came ahead of foreign minister-level peace talks set for this Tuesday in New Delhi between India and Pakistan.

India suspended a four-year peace process with Pakistan after attacks on its financial capital Mumbai killed 166 people in November 2008.

But in February, India and Pakistan announced that peace talks would resume. Saturday's discussions came after the Indian home minister told SAARC that countries cannot evade responsibility for acts of terrorism in what was seen as a veiled swipe at Pakistan.

Pakistan has blamed so called "non-state actors" for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

New Delhi has accused the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba Islamist guerrilla group and Pakistani state intelligence agencies of responsibility for the carnage.

"The distinction between state actors and non-state actors is misplaced," Chidambaram told SAARC which groups Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Earlier this month, Mumbai was rocked by triple blasts which killed 22 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the first in the city since the high-profile 2008 strike by Islamist militants.