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Pakistan PM due in India amid new row over Kashmir

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is due in New Delhi on Tuesday where he is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh to seek fresh assurances on pursuing talks over the Kashmir dispute. Aziz is set to arrive in the afternoon after a brief stop in the Maldives in his capacity as outgoing chairman of the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He is to meet Singh on Wednesday for talks followed by lunch, according to India’s foreign ministry. The two leaders are expected to review recent developments in the peace process, known as the composite dialogue. A second round of the dialogue is to begin later this month. Speaking in Colombo a day before his arrival, Aziz said his visit would improve the atmosphere between the nuclear armed neighbours that was clouded by last week’s rhetoric about Kashmir from both sides. “My visit tomorrow will improve the atmosphere of relations between the two countries,” Aziz said. “The relations have improved considerably… It is very sportsman-like across the board.” Indian foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters Monday that Aziz was visiting the region as chairman of SAARC, so the focus was likely to be on regional issues, but that discussions on bilateral issues were also expected. Sarna said New Delhi was hopeful of progress in bilateral ties.Full Story

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