Pakistan says it’s willing to wait for talks with India

NEW DELHI (AP) — Pakistan’s ambassador to India said Thursday his country would like to have a comprehensive dialogue with New Delhi to resolve their outstanding issues but is willing to wait if India isn’t ready.

High-level talks between the neighbors have been suspended since January, when India postponed scheduled meetings on Kashmir and other problems after an attack on an Indian air force base that killed seven soldiers.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit told reporters in New Delhi that “If India is not yet ready, we can always wait.”

“Let us see whether we are able to commence the dialogue process,” he said.

The Jan. 2 attack on the base in the northern Indian town of Pathankot came days after a surprise visit to Pakistan by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that raised hopes of a thaw in relations between the two nuclear-armed nations.

India says phone intercepts suggest the gunmen came from Pakistan.

Last month, Pakistan sent five investigators to India to probe the attack. India appears to be evaluating Pakistan’s response before it sends a senior External Affairs Ministry official to Pakistan to resume talks.

Islamabad said it has arrested several suspects belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammad, or Mohammed’s Army, militant group and detained its leader as part of its investigation.

Since their independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, the Himalayan region that both claim.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the violence, which began in 1989.

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