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Trade May Top Agenda In Indo-Pak Talks

NEW DELHI, July 26 (UPI) — Expanding bilateral trade initiatives between India and Pakistan may be the first steps toward a peace initiative, a regional scholar said.

India and Pakistan are to have another round of peace negotiations Wednesday in New Delhi. Both sides during preliminary discussions expressed optimism over the potential outcome.

Chintamani Mahapatra, an international politics professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, told al-Jazeera trade issues for Kashmir might top the agenda.

“They are considering increasing the number of days residents from the two sides can engage in trade per week from two to four,” he said. “They will also discuss (smoothing) the process of getting permits for trade.”

Previous efforts at peace negotiations were unsettled by issues related to Kashmir and fallout from the 2008 attacks on Mumbai carried out by militants from Pakistan.

More than 120 people were injured and 19 people were killed in a July 13 triple attack in Mumbai.

New Delhi hasn’t issued an official statement of blame, though authorities say they believe the attack was meant to thwart this week’s peace talks with Pakistan.

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