Peace process intact as India, Pakistan hold talks
Officials of the two nations meet in Wagah to discuss ways to strengthen border security and combat smuggling.india Updated: Jul 19, 2006 20:44 IST
Despite a bad patch in relations between the governments of the two countries since last week's bomb blasts in Mumbai, Indian and Pakistani officials met on Wednesday to discuss ways to beef up border security and combat smuggling.
The talks between the border security officials at the Wagah border check post came days after India postponed a meeting of foreign secretaries due this week in New Delhi to review progress in a peace process begun over 2 years ago.
Border security consultations take place every three months, and are not part of the "composite dialogue" -- negotiations on a range of political disputes including the core issue of Kashmir.
"We will continue with these talks and these will be held as routine," AK Jain, deputy inspector general of India's Border Security Force, told reporters.
The two sides discussed issues relating to illegal border crossings, smuggling as well as a proposal on joint border patrols.
India announced postponement of the talks between the foreign secretaries at the weekend, saying that atmosphere was not conducive in the wake of the July 11 bomb attacks on commuter trains in the financial and commercial hub of India that killed more than 180 people and wounded hundreds.
Although there has been no breakthrough yet in investigations into the Mumbai attacks, the suspicions have fallen on Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Pakistan has condemned the Mumbai blasts and President Pervez Musharraf has warned any stalling in the peace process was what the "terrorists" wanted.