India-Pakistan: The sticking points

As New Delhi and Islamabad restart peace talks, nuclear rivals are at loggerheads on several issues.

    Disputes and animosity have dominated ties between New Delhi and Islamabad [GALLO/GETTY]

    India and Pakistan have had a rocky history, having fought three wars since winning independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

    The last round of peace talks were suspended in November 2008 after armed men launched an attack in the heart of Mumbai, India's sprawling financial capital, killing 166 people and wounding more than 300 others.

    Foreign secretaries from both countries are now due to hold talks in New Delhi, but there remains a number of historic sticking points between the two nuclear armed nations.

    Security

    India says security is its main issue and Nirupama Rao, its Indian foreign secretary, has said she wants it to be the focus of Thursday's discussion. 

    New Delhi has repeatedly called on Islamabad to take strong action against armed groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, which it says is launching attacks in India from Pakistani soil.

    India has also accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of supporting some attacks, including in the Kashmir border region.

    Kashmir

    Kashmir has been a consistent sore spot for the two countries, as both sides claim the predominantly Muslim region in its entirety. Two wars have been fought over the divided territory in the past.

    A border truce has largely held since November 2003 along the so-called Line of Control that divides Kashmir, although there are occasional clashes.

    India accuses Pakistan of allowing fighters to cross its border - a charge Islamabad rejects.

    Pakistan has called for the disputed region to be the focus of Thursday's talks.

    Water

    Tied in with the Kashmir dispute is a disagreement over the water that flows from Indian-administered Kashmir into Pakistan's Indus river basin.

    The 1960 Indus Water Treaty gave India and Pakistan each control of three rivers.

    However, Pakistan says India is unfairly diverting its waters with upstream barrages and dams. India denies this.

    The Siachen glacier

    India and Pakistan have maintained military deployments in the Himalayas' Siachen glacier since 1984.

    Both have said they will not withdraw their troops until the other does so, and both lay claim to the glacier.

    Sir Creek estuary

    The 100km Sir Creek estuary, which flows into the Arabian sea, is yet another boundary dispute.

    Hundreds of fishermen from both sides of the border have been detained in areas where demarcation is unclear. Oil and gas explorations have also been impaired.

    Afghanistan

    The two countries have long competed for influence in nearby Afghanistan.

    India's presence in the country has increased since the US-led invasion in 2001, which Pakistan eyes with suspicion.

    Islamabad has accused New Delhi of backing separatists and fighters via Afghanistan, including in Baluchistan.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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