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India, Pakistan discuss Kashmir

Pakistani side led by Foreign Secy Riaz Khan will discuss Kashmir issue with their Indian counterparts.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2006 14:02 IST

India and Pakistan on Wednesday began their second day of talks to discussKashmir and explore ways to further boost confidence building along the Line of Control (LoC) to resolve the decades-old issue that continues to be a source of friction between them.

The two sides will also discuss confidence-building measures like starting of the Poonch-Rawalakot trans-border bus service, the truck service along the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route, operating meeting points on the LoC in Kashmir and allowing pilgrims across the ceasefire line.

The two sides are expected to finalise dates for technical-level talks to discuss each of these steps at the end of the two-day talks.

The discussion on the Kashmir issue comes a day after the two sides traded charges over violence in Balochistan, Pakistan's oil and gas-rich province, over which India had expressed concern. New Delhi also raised the issue of cross-border terror on Monday.

An Indian team headed by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and the Pakistani side led by his counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan on Tuesday discussed peace and security and reviewed progress made during the last two rounds of the composite dialogue.

The talks, which launch the third round of composite dialogue between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, on Kashmir are being watched in international capitals as it comes soon after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's package proposal of demilitarisation, self-governance and joint management of the territory.

This controversial proposal made by Musharraf in a recent television interview had elicited tough talk from New Delhi, which rejected the proposal, asking Pakistan to first honour its first promise to end cross-border terror.

First Published: Jan 18, 2006 14:02 IST