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Pak, India plan fresh CBMs on Kashmir during Khar-Krishna talks

Islamabad, Mon, 25 Jul 2011 ANI

Islamabad, July 25 (ANI): Pakistan and India are likely to announce new confidence building measures (CBMs) related to the longstanding Kashmir dispute when the foreign ministers of the nuclear-armed neighbours meet in New Delhi this week.


According to Express Tribune, the CBMs include increase in the number of trading points as well as trading days - from the existing two to four - across the Line of Control (LoC), launch of a new bus service between Kargil and Skardu and also increasing the frequency of a bus link between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar.


A Foreign Office official told the paper that the agreement on the new CBMs was finalised at the recently held meeting of the Pak-India Joint Working Group in New Delhi and is part of efforts by the two countries to facilitate trade and travel on both sides of the LoC.


The official said the foreign secretaries, who are due to meet on July 26 - a day before the ministerial-level talks between the two countries - will further discuss the issue.


"The new CBMs will be placed before the two foreign ministers and they may announce the final agreement at the end of talks," said the official, who requested not to be named.


Presently, trade is allowed between Muzaffarabad-Uri and Poonch-Rawalakot. However, according to Indian media, New Delhi has proposed three additional trading routes including Nauseri-Tithwal, Hajipur-Uri and Tattapani-Mendhar.


Traders from both sides of the LoC have been demanding an increase in the number of trade days from two to four, resumption of telecommunication links between the Indian and Pakistani administered parts of Kashmir and inclusion of more items from both sides as part of the trade activity.


Foreign Office officials said the two countries are trying to address these issues in order to facilitate traders from both sides of the LoC.


Meanwhile, Pakistan and India have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in the probe into the November 2008 Mumbai attacks at a meeting Saturday between Interior Minister Rehman Malik and his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation security meet.


The two leaders issued a joint statement after their meeting 'held in a cordial atmosphere'. (ANI)


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