updated 9/16/2006 2:33:12 PM ET 2006-09-16T18:33:12

Pakistan and India agreed Saturday to restart peace talks suspended since train bombings killed more than 200 people in Mumbai in July as part of a wave of attacks India blames on Pakistan-based militants.

Describing their meeting as a breakthrough for peace, Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on Cabinet-level talks by their foreign secretaries. Singh also said he had accepted an invitation to travel to Pakistan to further the process.

“I look forward to a purposeful visit at a time to be determined through diplomatic channels,” Singh said after the leaders worked out the details Saturday morning on the sidelines of the Nonaligned Movement summit in Havana.

“I am very happy — It’s very good,” Musharraf said. “We had a cordial, frank exchange of views on all aspects of India and Pakistan relations. It was agreed that the peace process must be obtained.”

Both leaders also said in a joint statement that they reject “all acts of terrorism.”

Earlier, Musharraf had expressed optimism that his meeting with Singh could lead to a cease-fire along their common border in the Himalayan mountains.

“A historic opportunity like this must be seized by the leadership of the two countries to bring to a close the chapter and tension in our region,” Musharraf said in his address to the Nonaligned Movement meeting.

Tighter control on terrorists
But Singh has said Pakistan must do more to control militant groups based in its territory.

“This terrorism will surely act as a dampener. I have said more than once, that I can’t carry the Indian public opinion with me if terrorist acts continue to plague our polity,” Singh said on his way to Havana.

A series of terrorist bombings have ripped across India in the past year. The most recent was the July 11 attack that hit seven Mumbai commuter trains during peak evening traffic, killing more than 200 people. The bombings have been blamed on Pakistan-based Muslim militants.

New Delhi blames Pakistan’s support of the militants for stalling the peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbors, which have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947, two over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Pakistan’s government denies training and funding the Islamic militants, and said it had nothing to do with the train bombings, but it has acknowledged offering the rebels moral and political support.

More than a dozen militant groups are fighting to make Kashmir independent from Hindu-majority India or to merge it with Muslim-dominated Pakistan. The insurgency has claimed about 65,000 lives.

Mumbai was formerly known as Bombay.

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