As one country closes a door, another opens a window. India and Pakistan today announced that they would kick-start the wide-ranging peace talks that ground to a halt after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which were blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The US has been cheering on the efforts, in hopes that easing border tensions would allow Pakistan to refocus its energy on fighting Taliban militants, thereby helping the US in Afghanistan, the AP reports.
The decision followed talks Sunday in Bhutan between the foreign secretaries of the two countries, the latest in a yearlong string of top-level meetings intended to rebuild the nations' shattered trust. The countries simultaneously released a statement underscoring the talks' focuses: counterterrorism, humanitarian issues, peace and security, the disputed Kashmir region, and other border issues. India had previously insisted it would not return to the negotiating table until Pakistan cracked down on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group blamed for carrying out the attacks; it was not immediately clear why India changed its mind.