A range of issues such as cross-border terrorism, smuggling of narcotics, flow of counterfeit currency into India and the progress in the Mumbai attacks case trial are expected to be discussed by the Home Secretaries of India and Pakistan at the two-day talks beginning here on Monday.

The talks will also mark the resumption of high-level discussions on all subjects, more than two years after the dialogue was suspended following the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Significantly, the meeting comes after “cricket diplomacy” began, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inviting Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to watch the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semi-final at Mohali on March 30.

Confidence building

Monday's talks would take place in a “positive atmosphere,” government sources said, pointing out that the Foreign Secretaries decided in Thimphu in February not to raise public expectations, but to allow the confidence-building process to develop gradually.

Official sources said they expected the talks to facilitate the resumption of a substantive dialogue later.

Home Secretaries Gopal K. Pillai and Chaudhary Qamar Zaman will also discuss India's concern at Islamabad's reluctance to cooperate fully in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice.

The sources said the attempt by the prosecution in Pakistan to bring the guilty to justice had hardly worked, and India's request for voice samples of the handlers of the attackers had been put on the back burner.

New Delhi has conveyed to Islamabad that it wants to send a commission to Pakistan to question the jailed Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who is accused of planning the attack.

Pakistan is likely to ask India about the progress in the probe into the Samjhauta Express blast, in which activists of some right-wing groups were allegedly involved. A majority of the victims were from Pakistan.

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