India, Pakistan foreign ministers begin talks

July 27th, 2011 - 12:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar Wednesday began talks that are expected to culminate in a host of confidence-building measures (CBMs) across the divided halves of Kashmir.

All issues, including terrorism and Kashmir, will figure in the discussions.

Krishna is expected to press Pakistan for speedy justice for victims of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage and raise the issue of Pakistani spy agency ISI’s link with Kashmiri separatism. He is also expected to emphasise the need for “an atmosphere free from terror” to continue meaningful talks.

Ahead of the talks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir had Tuesday finalised a slew of CBMs designed to expand travel and trade across the divided halves of Kashmir. These CBMs are expected to be announced later in the day after the talks between Krishna and Khar.

The CBMs could include an increase in the frequency of cross-Kashmir bus links between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and Poonch and Rawalakot, an increase in the number of trading days across the Line of Control (LoC) from two to four, the opening of more trading points and multiple entry permits for six months for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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