Indo-Pak Resumed Dialogue; FCs’ meeting concludes:
Separate Expert level meetings on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs, Visa Agreement Soon, and Strengthened Cooperation on Counter-terrorism Agreed
Under the resumed dialogue process, the Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India met in Islamabad, on 23-24 June 2011 for bilateral talks on Peace and Security including confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges. Three sessions of talks were held. The talks were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere.
Both sides reiterated their intention to carry forward the dialogue process in a constructive and purposeful manner. The issues of Peace and Security, including CBMs, were
discussed in a comprehensive manner. Both sides emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue to promote mutual understanding. They noted the ongoing implementation of various Nuclear and Conventional CBMs. They also decided to convene separate Expert level meetings on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs to discuss implementation and strengthening of existing arrangements and to consider additional measures, which are mutually acceptable, to build trust and confidence and promote peace and security. The dates for the Expert level meetings will be determined through diplomatic channels.
The Foreign Secretaries noted that both countries recognize that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security and they reiterated the firm and undiluted commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate this scourge in all its forms and manifestations. They agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism.
The Foreign Secretaries exchanged views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences. Both sides agreed to convene a meeting of the Working Group on Cross-LoC CBMs to recommend measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC and propose modalities for introducing additional Cross – LoC CBMs. The
Working Group will meet in July 2011.
Both sides agreed to the need for promoting friendly exchanges between the two countries. They noted with satisfaction the progress made towards finalization of the Visa Agreement which will help liberalize the visa regime and facilitate people-to-people, business-to-business and sports contacts.
The two sides also discussed measures for promoting cooperation in various fields including, facilitating visits to religious shrines, media exchanges, and holding of sports tournaments besides cessation of hostile propaganda against each other. The Foreign Secretaries agreed that people of the two countries are at the heart of the relation ship and that humanitarian issues should be accorded priority and treated with sensitivity. The Foreign Secretary of India called on the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar. The Foreign Secretaries will meet again in New Delhi, on a date to be decided through diplomatic channels, to prepare for the meeting of the Foreign / External Affairs Ministers in New Delhi in July 2011. -- INFN