Regional rivals to meet in Sri Lanka as Indo-Pak peace process hits bad times

July 29, 2008 (AFP) – The leaders of South Asian rivals India and Pakistan are to meet in Sri Lanka this week for their highest-level talks in 15 months and to see if they can hold together their embattled peace process.

Relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought three wars since partition in 1947, hit another low point this month after India said “elements” in Pakistan were behind the recent bombing of its Kabul embassy.

There has also been an increase in incidents along the Line of Control dividing the Himalayan region of Kashmir, with the Indian army accusing Pakistani soldiers of crossing the border on Monday and killing an Indian soldier.

Amid the growing tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is expected to meet his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of a South Asia regional meeting in Sri Lanka this week.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will also be meeting his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani at the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SSARC) summit which begins on Saturday.

“The meeting (between Singh and Gilani) is being scheduled,” a Sri Lankan official involved w