World’s newest nuclear states meet to try to build peace

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Seeking to ease fears of a nuclear confrontation, top officials from India and Pakistan — the world’s newest nuclear states — will meet Thursday to discuss safeguards.
At the heart of the four-day talks will be the disputed region of Kashmir — the flashpoint of two previous wars — which has soured relations between the two South Asian countries since independence from Britain 51 years ago.
Many fear the protracted dispute could cause a nuclear conflagration on the Asian subcontinent, home to more than 1 billion people — one-fourth of the world’s population.
For the past 10 years, an estimated 600,000 Indian soldiers and security guards have been trying to quell a secessionist movement in Kashmir by Muslim militants demanding either outright independence or union with Islamic Pakistan.
Kashmir is the only Muslim-dominated state in majority Hindu India. New Delhi routinely accuses Islamabad of fomenting violence on its side of the border as well as arming and training militants.
Pakistan, which denies the accusations, wants a vote to let Kashmiris decide whether to join India or Pakistan. Kashmiris have not been invited to these talks, but hope to be eventually included.