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Indo-Pak talks in the works for months

Indo-Pak talks in the works for months
Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (R) along with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (L),the chief guest at India's Republic Day, and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh arrive for the 62nd Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India on Wednesday, January 26,2011. Republic Day marks the day in 1950 when the new constitution came in effect after India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947. UPI/Raj Patidar | License Photo

NEW DELHI, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The announcement that New Delhi and Islamabad were resuming peace negotiations was in the works for months, an Indian government source said.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao signaled New Delhi was ready to restart peaceful talks with Pakistan after negotiations were suspended in the wake of the 2008 siege on Mumbai.

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A source in the Indian government said the steps leading up to the decision were "gradual."

"A number of steps have been made to re-engage, beginning in February last year with the meeting between the two (foreign secretaries)," the source told Indian newspaper The Hindu.

The same source added that Rao noted there were "a lot of issues" to be discussed by the nuclear-armed neighbors.

"This is an expression of political will, the desire to intensify the process of dialogue with Pakistan," said Rao in her latest statements.

Indian officials carried a "message of peace" to Islamabad in July, though Pakistani officials said their Indian counterparts weren't "mentally prepared" for dialogue.

Apart from terrorism and security issues, both sides are also at odds over the disputed region of Kashmir.

"The intention from both sides is to resume this (negotiation) process," the Indian source added.

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