India, Pakistan discuss additional CBMs for Kashmir

July 19th, 2012 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) India and Pakistan Thursday considered introducing additional confidence building measures (CBMs) across the line of control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, including pilgrimage, bank facilities for bilateral trade and six-month multiple entry permits for people-to-people contact.

These issues came up for discussion for the biannual cross-LOC CBMs working group that met in Islamabad.

The meeting took place in pursuance of the decision taken at the foreign secretary level talks here on July 4 and 5 this year, when Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jeelani met his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai, in preparation for foreign minister-level talks later this year.

A joint statement issued on the occasion said that Thursday’s meeting was held in “a cordial and constructive” atmosphere.

“The two sides reviewed the progress since the last meeting of the joint working group on cross-LoC CBMs and discussed modalities for strengthening and streamlining the existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC. They also discussed modalities for introducing additional cross-LoC CBMs,” the statement said.

The Pakistan delegation was headed by its foreign affair ministry’s Director General (South Asia) Zehra Akbari and the Indian side was led by its external affairs ministry Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) Y.K. Sinha.

These talks come ahead of a visit by India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna scheduled in September this year.

–Indo-Asian News Service

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