ISLAMABAD: Pakistan proposed on Monday to India deployment of artillery and mortars 30 kilometres away from the Line of Control as the two sides revived talks on conventional and nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) after a gap of four years, official sources told Dawn.
The two-day talks signified the first formal engagement between the two countries since Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Saarc summit in the Maldives last month, during which the two leaders agreed to push trust-building measures to add momentum to the revived dialogue process.
Pakistan also proposed measures for repatriation of individuals inadvertently crossing into the other country, besides suggesting an agreement to prevent incidents at sea, a source said without giving any detail.
Y.K. Sinha, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan desk in India’s external affairs ministry, led the Indian side while Additional Foreign Secretary Munawar Saeed Bhatti headed the Pakistan delegation at the expert level talks on conventional CBMs.
The sources said notes were exchanged over the progress made on the earlier agreements, including the ceasefire agreement, working of hotline between directors general military operations of the two sides, hotline between Indian Coast Guards and Pakistan’s Maritime Agency and the 1989 agreement on prevention of airspace violations.
The meeting also focused on implementing the cross-Kashmir trade and travel CBMs that were unveiled during the talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries in July.
The two sides will hold a sixth round of expert-level discussions on nuclear CBMs on Tuesday.
The meeting is 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.
The sources said some formal agreements were expected to be signed in the next round of expert level talks which are likely to take place next year.
Pakistan and India resumed in February the dialogue process that was stalled after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.