India, Pakistan officials meet to discuss border opening

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Indian and Pakistani officials are meeting amid easing of tensions to discuss opening a visa-free border crossing to allow pilgrims to easily visit a Sikh shrine close to the border with Pakistan.

India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar says the talks have started after a Pakistani delegation crossed over to the Indian side on Thursday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal is heading the Pakistani delegation.

Tensions flared last month after a suicide attack killed 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir. The Indian air force launched an airstrike inside Pakistan, saying it was targeting militants it blamed for the bombing.

Pakistan retaliated and said it shot down two Indian air force planes. One pilot was captured and later released. Tensions have eased since.

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