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Pak proposes May 25, 26 for N-issue talks
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, April 5
Pakistan today proposed two-day talks next month with India on nuclear confidence-building measures (CBM) in pursuance of the road map worked out by the foreign secretaries of the two countries.

“Pakistan has proposed May 25 and 26 as the dates for hosting expert-level talks to discuss nuclear confidence-building measures,” a brief statement by the Pakistan Foreign Office said here.

It said the proposal was in pursuance of the road map worked out by the foreign secretaries of both the countries on February 18 for resumption of composite dialogue to discuss Kashmir and other contentious issues,

The dates for the talks on nuclear CBMs were conveyed to Indian Deputy High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghanvan by the Director-General for South Asia in the Pakistan Foreign Office, Mr Jalili Abbas Jilani.

Pakistan and India have already been implementing some of the nuclear CBMs agreed to under an MoU signed along with the Lahore Accord.

The MoU included holding regular bilateral consultations on security issues and nuclear doctrines, informing each other in advance about ballistic missile tests, measures to deal with incidents borne out of accidents etc.

Under the road map agreed by the two countries to hold the composite dialogue, the foreign secretaries would meet in May/June this year for talks on peace and security, including CBMs and Jammu and Kashmir.

The expert-level talks on the nuclear CBMs would be a prelude to the proposed talks of the foreign secretaries.

The communication from the Pakistan Foreign Office came as the officials of the two countries were gearing up for technical-level talks to run bus services between Srinagar and Muzafarabad, the capital of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, scheduled for April 9 and 10.

The expert-level talks on nuclear CBMs, along with talks between border security officials on drug trafficking and smuggling were in addition to the eight-point agenda for composite dialogue agreed to by both the countries in the Foreign Secretary-level talks here in February.

The other items for the composite dialogue included talks by concerned officials on Siachen, Wullur Barrage, Sir Creek, terrorism and drug trafficking, economic and commercial cooperation and promotion of friendly exchanges in various fields. — PTI


India to respond
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 5
India today said it would be “responding” to Pakistan’s offer for technical level talks in May on nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs) between the two countries.

Foreign Office spokesman Navtej Sarna, in response to a specific question on Pakistan’s offer of nuclear talks next month, said: “You are referring to the offer to hold technical talks, expert-level meetings on the nuclear CBMs in the latter half of May. This you know was one of the items that were part of the Joint Press Statement issued in Islamabad on February 18. We have received the dates in the second half of May and we will be responding.”

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