Kashmir, Siachen can be resolved: Pakistan

Pakistan and Indian foreign secretaries are due to meet in New Delhi on November 14-15 to solve issues between them.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 19:31 IST

Pakistan on Monday expressed optimism that issue of Kashmir and Siachen would be resolved.

"We believe that issues like Jammu and Kashmir and Siachen are resolvable," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a press briefing in Islamabad.

Aslam's remarks comes a day after the Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri said Pakistan and India were close to an agreement on the Siachen dispute.

However, she refused to offer any comment when asked if the understanding reached between the two South Asian neighbours as a result of a compromise by the either side.

"The foreign minister feels optimistic that given the political will, the issue can be resolved," she added.

The two countries, which resumed their peace talks in February 2004 after years of tensions, have so far failed to budge an inch from their respective positions on the 71-kilometers long glacier, which Pakistan claims, was occupied by India in 1984 in violation of the Karachi agreement of 1948.

India is apparently reluctant to vacate some of the strategic positions it occupies at the glacier, while Pakistan insists that the troops by the two countries be withdrawn to pre-1984 positions.

"We would not have engaged in a dialogue with India had we not believed that the issues (of Siachen and Kashmir) are resolvable," Aslam said.

Pakistan and India's foreign secretaries are due to meet in New Delhi on November 14-15 to restart the dialogue process suspended for an indefinite period by India in July last days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleged elements across the border for their involvement in the July 11 serial bombings in Mumbai.

Prime Minister Singh and President Pervez Musharraf, who met in Havana on the sidelines of the NAM summit on September 16 last year, decided to resume the peace process and directed their foreign secretaries to meet at the earliest possible to arrange consultations for early solution of the Siachen issue.

They also asked their chief diplomats to organise meeting of experts for joint survey of Sir Creek and adjoining area and to facilitate implementation of agreements and understandings already reached on LOC-related CBMs, including bus services, crossing points and truck service.

First Published: Oct 30, 2006 19:31 IST