Pakistan, India hold talks on CBMs

December 26th, 2011 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Dec 26 (IANS) After a gap of four years, Pakistan and India Monday began two-day talks on conventional and nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs).

Geo News said that the talks Monday were being held at the Pakistan Foreign Office on conventional CBMs, while the talks on nuclear CBMs will be held Tuesday.

The talks are the first formal engagement since the leaders of the two countries met in the Maldives over two months ago.

The expert-level meeting on nuclear and conventional CBMs is being held after a gap of four years.

Y.K. Sinha, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan desk in India’s external affairs ministry, is leading the Indian side at the talks on conventional CBMs. The talks on nuclear CBMs Tuesday will be led by Venkatesh Verma, joint secretary in charge of disarmament in India’s external affairs ministry.

Munawar Saeed Bhatti, additional secretary in Pakistan’s ministry of foreign affairs, heads the Pakistan delegation for both expert groups.

In the fifth round of expert-level discussions on conventional CBMs, officials of the two countries will focus on implementing the cross-Kashmir trade and travel CBMs that were unveiled during the talks between the foreign ministers in July.

Issues relating to nuclear security and missile tests will be discussed Tuesday when the two sides hold the sixth round of expert-level discussions on nuclear CBMs.

The two sides are expected to explore the possibilities of expanding the scope of nuclear CBMs to include a pre-notification of cruise missile test launches. The Indian side may again push for a no-first-use commitment from Islamabad.

Pakistan and India resumed in February their dialogue process that was stalled after the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack perpetrated by Pakistani terrorists.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in the Maldives on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in November and decided to push trust-building measures to add momentum to the revived dialogue process.

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