After a hiatus of four years, India and Pakistan are expected to hold expert level meetings on nuclear and conventional confidence building measures separately in Islamabad at the end of this month.
The two-day dialogue will be held on December 26-27, 2011 at Islamabad with both sides led by an additional secretary rank officer of respective foreign ministries.
Government sources said that even though it was decided at the meeting of external affairs minister SM Krishna and Pakistan foreign minister Hina Khar in Delhi last July 27 that the expert level dialogue would be held in September 2011, mutually convenient dates could not be found by the two sides till late December and that too after prodding from the highest levels.
However, not much of a breakthrough is expected in these meetings as the two sides will recover ground post 26/11 Mumbai massacre. The last expert level nuclear CBM meeting took place on October 14, 2007.
Sources said while Pakistan is expected to point to the threat posed by India's nuclear and conventional arsenal to Islamabad's security, New Delhi will stick to the line that its military posture is aimed to counter threats not only from South Asia but also China. Besides, the inter-theatre linkages between Pakistan and China via Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir mean that India has to be geared to the two front options.