India, Pakistan meet to build trust at conference

Associated Press
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh bows in front of a flag of India and Maldives during a guard of honor after his arrival in Addu, Maldives, Wednesday,  Nov. 9, 2011. The heads of eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries are meeting in this Indian Ocean archipelago on Nov. 10 and 11. (AP Photo/Sinan Hussain)

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ADDU, Maldives (AP) — The prime ministers of India and Pakistan met Thursday on the sidelines of a South Asia regional summit to discuss ways to combat regional terrorism and build trust between their rival countries.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani planned to meet for 30 minutes during a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in the Maldives.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Wednesday that the meeting would deal with terrorism and the "trust deficit" between the sides. "We have many, many long miles to move ahead still," she said.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain, mainly over the disputed region of Kashmir.

An attack in 2008 in India's financial capital of Mumbai by Pakistan-based terrorists froze a slow-moving peace process that has only recently resumed. In the latest positive sign, Pakistan last week announced a normalization in trade ties with India.

The SAARC grouping is holding 17th meeting in the Indian Ocean archipelago of Maldives. The group comprises India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

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