Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir held talks on the sidelines of a SAARC meeting in Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India will hold talks on counter-terrorism and narcotics control in the last week of March, Pakistan's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“The meeting will be held in New Delhi on March 28 and 29 following the agreement of the resumption of full spectrum dialogue between Pakistan and India,” foreign office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told a press briefing.

Top government bureaucrats from the Pakistani interior and Indian home ministries will lead their delegations at the talks, which will focus on “counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues.”

The two countries announced the resumption of peace talks last month after a meeting between Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao in the Bhutanese capital Thimphu.

The rival South Asian states suspended their last talks more than two years ago after gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai.

The international community has been pushing the two sides to get back to the negotiating table to help ease tensions in an already volatile region.

Relations between India and Pakistan, who have fought three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947, have been plagued by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity against India.

The pair embarked on a formal peace dialogue in 2004, which continued until the rupture caused by the Mumbai attacks.

They began to explore a resumption of structured talks last year, and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani met in Thimphu in April 2010.

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