India, Pakistan to discuss cross-LoC CBMs soon

June 27th, 2008 - 12:02 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) India and Pakistan will hold talks on further confidence-building measures (CBMs) to initiate more truck services across the Line of Control (LoC) and to open more entry-exit points along it. A senior Indian official said Thursday that New Delhi had several proposals for boosting people-to-people exchanges and trade across the LoC by increasing frequency of trucks and bus services as well as opening more points.

“We are trying to fix up a date soon for a meeting of a group on LoC CBMs,” he said, adding that the meeting will be held after Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit here.

Qureshi arrives in India Friday for a four-day visit, during which he will visit Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ajmer.

On a revised visa agreement, the official said there was “need for a proper visa structure”.

“Unless you change the very thrust (of the current visa regime with its) police verification, limited city, exit entry points, it does not really help,” he said.

The official said that India’s stress is on a “liberalised visa regime”.

“We are also proposing new categories like group visa, student visa and pilgrim visa,” he said, noting that India grants 100,000 visas in Pakistan every year.

On the current status of bilateral relations, the official said: “We are at a happy stage that we are meeting every month and at every level.”

He added that India might seek clarification on the status of the Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan, Sarabjit Singh. “We have not got any clarity on Sarabjit yet,” he said.

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