HAVANA – Pakistan and India agreed Saturday to restart peace talks suspended since train bombings killed more than 200 people in Mumbai in June as part of a wave of attacks India blames on Pakistan-based militants.
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to the talks after meeting at exclusive government protocol houses on Havana's outskirts during the Nonaligned Movement summit.
Musharraf had expressed optimism Friday that the meeting could lead to a cease-fire along their common border in the Himalayan mountains.
"A historic opportunity like this must be seized by the leadership of the two countries to bring to a close the chapter and tension in our region," Musharraf said Friday in his speech to the Nonaligned Movement.
Singh has said Pakistan must do more to control militant groups based in its territory.
"This terrorism will surely act as a dampener. I have said more than once, that I can't carry the Indian public opinion with me if terrorist acts continue to plague our polity," Singh said on his way to Havana.
There are more than a dozen militant groups fighting to make Kashmir independent from Hindu-majority India or merge with Muslim-dominated Pakistan, an insurgency that has claimed about 65,000 lives.
New Delhi blames Pakistan's support of the militants for stalling the peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbors, which have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Pakistan's government denies training and funding the Islamic militants, and said it had nothing to do with the train bombings, but it has acknowledged offfering the rebels moral and political support.
"Pakistan is making sincere efforts to promote peace and cooperation in South Asia," and is determined to resolve all its disputes with India, Musharraf said Friday.
Mumbai was formerly known as Bombay.