Pakistan, India start talks on rail link

Pakistani and Indian railway authorities will start talks in Islamabad on reopening a second rail link between the two countries.

    The two nations reopened their only working rail link in January

    Railway officials are to discuss on Thursday the feasibility of resuming train services, suspended since 1965, between the Indian village of Munabao in Rajasthan state and the small town of Khokrapar in southern Pakistan. 

    Pakistan and India reopened their only working rail link after a two-year suspension this January, connecting the eastern city of Lahore and India's northern city of Amritsar. 

    Zaim Ahmad Chaudhry, secretary of Pakistan's Railway Board, said he was hopeful the two countries would be able to come to an understanding on reopening the second rail link. 

    "It is gift from one country to another, to bring divided families together. It is a good gesture," said Chaudhry referring to families separated when India and Pakistan were carved out of British colonial India in 1947. 

    The two-day talks mark the start of back-to-back meetings between Pakistani and Indian officials throughout this month on all their disputes, including on Kashmir, the cause of two of the three wars between the rivals since independence from Britain. 

    Kashmir will be the main focus of discussion between the foreign secretaries of the two countries on 27 and 28 December and, although analysts do not expect an early breakthrough on a dispute which has plagued relations for more than half a century. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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