Kashmir-centric CBMs on cards
‘Officials Meeting Monday To Lay Ground For FM-Level Parleys’
New Delhi, July 16: India and Pakistan have decided not to let the July 13 Mumbai blasts affect the tempo of their revived peace process and are set to hold preparatory discussions on cross-Kashmir confidence-building measures Monday ahead of the meeting of foreign ministers later this month.
A six-member Pakistani delegation headed by Zehra H Akbari, Director General South Asia Division (DGSA) in Pakistan’s Foreign Office, will arrive here Sunday evening, well-placed sources told IANS.
She will hold the meeting of the joint working group on cross-border CBMs with the Indian delegation headed by YK Sinha, Joint Secretary in charge of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
The talks are expected to firm up a slew of CBMs aimed at enhancing travel and trade to bring people of the two halves of Kashmir together. The two sides will also discuss the modalities of the launch of the Kargil-Skardu bus link, an increase in the frequency of cross-Kashmir bus link between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and an increase in the number of trading days across the Line of Control (LoC), said sources.
Some of these cross-Kashmir CBMs, sources said, are likely to be announced by the foreign ministers of the two countries when they meet here July 27.
Officials of the two sides will also be giving finishing touches to an agreement on liberalising the visa regime that will spur greater people-to-people contacts, which was identified as a focus area by the foreign secretaries of the two countries when they met in Islamabad last month.
A separate meeting of the working group on nuclear CBMs is also expected to be held soon.
Pakistan’s Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, who is widely expected to be elevated to the rank of cabinet minister, will be coming here July 26 for talks with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna next day, said the sources.
The foreign ministers’ meeting will be preceded by preparatory talks between Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao July 25.
In a sign of maturity in evolving ties that sunk to a new low after 26/11 attacks, India has scrupulously avoided even an insinuation linking elements in Pakistan to the terror strikes that ripped across Mumbai July 13 and underlined that the talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries will go on as scheduled.
New Delhi’s restraint is seen as signalling a strong political will on part of the Manmohan Singh government to continue the re-engagement process India started with Pakistan in February after much domestic opposition.
Although New Delhi acknowledges that Pakistan’s attitude towards terror has changed, a point made by Rao in an interview recently, it continues to have concerns over cross-border infiltration and these will be conveyed by Krishna to Pakistan at the talks.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
Srinagar, July 16: Jinnah Institute and Australia Indian Institute on Saturday condemned the Mumbai blasts. In a joint statement issued by the heads of the Indo-Pak Track-II Dialogue Group, President More
- Srinagar City
Netizens seek renovation of political landmark in Shahr-e-Khaas
A picture of Mujahid Manzil, a hub of political activities in Kashmir in the yesteryears, has triggered a debate on the Facebook with Kashmiri netizens seeking restoration of the gutted building on heritage More
WATER MAPPING SURVEY DISAPPOINTS PLANNERS
Jammu, July 16: The much-awaited water mapping survey conducted to find new sources of ground water in Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has send alarm bells ringing among More
Srinagar, July 16: The All Party Group for Kashmir in the European Parliament (APGK), organised the 7th Annual Kashmir EU Week entitled “Improving Human Rights in Kashmir” in association with the More
KTMF demands its complete withdrawal
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, July 16: The government has issued a notification suspending the new VAT return form for the quarter first. However, the notification makes it clear that the new VAT return form shall come into More