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India, Pakistan discuss Sir Creek survey

The discussions on Sir Creek are a part of third round of composite dialogue.

india Updated: May 25, 2006 16:57 IST

India and Pakistan on Thursday didn't allow the failure of talks on demilitarising Siachen glacier to come in the way of "frank" discussions on demarcating the Sir Creek marshland on the basis of a joint survey.

"Both sides have discussed the joint survey conducted last year to identify the boundary pillars installed in 1924 exhaustively and are hopeful of the resolution of the issue," a source told the agency. Sir Creek is a narrow strip of marshland on India's western border.

"The atmosphere was friendly on the first day of talks. The Siachen impasse didn't affect the delegates as the two issues are completely different," the source added.

There are some differences between the two countries on the issue of treating the settlement of maritime boundary and the land boundary demarcation in the Sir Creek area as interlinked or separately, the sources said.

During the two-day talks, the Indian side was led by Surveyor General Maj Gen M Gopal Rao and the Pakistan side was headed by Admiral Ahsan-ul-Haq Chaudhri, additional secretary in the defence ministry.

The resolution of differences on Sir Creek would also help the fishermen of both countries who inadvertently cross over to the other side and languish in jail for years.

The eighth round of talks to demarcate the boundaries of the nearly 10-km long marshland linking India's Gujarat coast with Pakistan's Sindh province was held in Islamabad last year.

The discussions on Sir Creek are part of the third round of composite dialogue between India and Pakistan launched here early this year after talks between Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Kahn.

First Published: May 25, 2006 16:57 IST