Talks with India on CBMs today

August 08, 2005

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NEW DELHI, Aug 7: Encouraged by tangible progress at the two-day dialogue on nuclear CBMs, Pakistan and India will hold day-long talks on conventional Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) here on Monday. Leader of nine-member delegation and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tariq Osman Hyder, will lead Pakistani side at the talks, while Indian delegation will be headed by Joint Secretary (Pakistan), External Affairs Ministry, Dileep Sinha.

Pakistan and India had agreed Saturday to notify each other of ballistic missile tests in a structured format and operationalize the hotline between the foreign secretaries next month. Talking to newsmen at the conclusion of two-day talks on nuclear CBMs, leader of Pakistan delegation said, “We are hoping that we will have equally good progress at the talks on conventional CBMs on August 8. We are looking forward to another round of result-oriented talks on Monday”.

There are of course many other issues in confidence building, which “we should look at both in strategic sphere and conflict resolution and in the conventional field”, he added.

“We have already come with really specific ideas on non-aggression doctrines and defensive doctrines and concrete measures on ceasefire. We will come up with these things and discuss them,” Mr Hyder said. Meanwhile, political analysts and the print media here hailed the India-Pakistan accord on nuclear CBMs.

“It was important to convey to the international community that India and Pakistan can arrive at confidence-building measures so that the nuclear capability is embedded in a statement of stability and confidence,” said C.U. Bhaskar, interim head of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi.

“It is a formalization of a practice that is de facto. It may be modest but it is an important step,” he added.

The agreements were hailed in the Indian media Sunday.

“Neighbours’ N-confidence up by a notch” said the Hindustan Times headline, while The Hindu ran a front-page lead under the headline, “India and Pakistan take a step forward.” —AFP