India and Pakistan have finally agreed on Wednesday to commence a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in a bid to thaw ties that had gone cold between the two South Asian neighbours.

The decision was taken during talks between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani prime minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad on 9 December.

"India & Pakistan announce the commencement of a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. Foreign Secretaries to meet later," tweeted external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup.

The joint statement by India and Pakistan said that both the countries have "directed the Foreign Secretaries modalities and schedule of meetings under the Dialogue."

The issues that will be discussed include peace and security, counter terrorism, narcotics control, humanitarian issues, people to people exchange and religious tourism.

India was also assured of steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of 26/11 Mumbai trial.

Sushma Swaraj's Pakistan trip is the first ministerial visit from India since 2012, when the then EAM SM Krishna visited the country.

This is the third bilateral engagement between the two countries at the top level in less than 10 days.

On 30 November, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif had met in Paris on the sidelines of global climate change conference, while on Sunday, the two countries had NSA-level talks India's Ajit Doval and his counterpart Naseer Khan Janjua in Bangkok to discuss the Kashmir issue, terrorism and LoC ceasefire violations.