Indo-Pak talks on key issues this month
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, May 3: Top officials of India and Pakistan will hold talks this month on key issues like the Sir Creek maritime boundary and counter-terrorism.
As part of the resumed dialogue process between the two countries, representatives from both countries will meet in New Delhi during May 14-16 to discuss the Sir Creek issue, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan told a weekly news briefing.
The Interior and Home Secretaries of the two sides will meet here during May 24-25 to discuss issues like counter- terrorism and measures to tackle drug trafficking, he said.
India and Pakistan revived their peace process last year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The two sides have taken several steps to normalise bilateral relations, especially on the trade front.
Khan said President Asif Ali Zardari had a "constructive meeting" with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi last month, during which they discussed all issues.
Both leaders had underlined the importance of finding "pragmatic and practical" solutions to all issues, including Sir Creek, Siachen and the Kashmir, he said.
Zardari had met Singh when he made a private visit to India on April 8 to offer prayers at a Sufi shrine in Ajmer.
In response to a question, Khan said the military standoff on the Siachen glacier is part of the dialogue process and both the countries have been discussing the issue.
He said there has been progress in Pakistan-India relations in the past year and the current round of talks will be completed by the end of this year.
Asked about the removal of "non-tariff barriers" affecting trade with India, Khan said such a move will improve bilateral trade and benefit Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today contended that India had hardened its position on the Siachen issue as compared to the 1989 stance it had adopted, saying that it "takes two hands to clap".
Speaking to the media during a visit to a high-altitude army camp in Siachen sector that was hit by an avalanche on April 7, Kayani said India had "toughened its stance" on the issue.
India had earlier been demanding the approval of the boundary but now it had begun asking for the re-determination of positions, Kayani was quoted as saying by TV news channels.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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