Indo-Pak CBM talks on nuke doctrine

Islamabad: Pakistan today said that its ongoing talks with India on nuclear and conventional CBMs will help forge greater understanding between the two sides, amid reports that it has proposed to New Delhi that artillery and mortars should be deployed 30 km away from the LoC.

India and Pakistan need to understand each other`s nuclear doctrines and ongoing talks on nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures will help foster greater understanding, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said. The ongoing parleys will help the two countries to understand each other`s viewpoint, Basit told the media as senior Indian and Pakistani officials began the second phase of two-day talks on nuclear and conventional CBMs.

The Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs is meeting after four years to share notes and exchange views on existing CBMs, Basit said. India and Pakistan will make "further progress on issues during bilateral talks in the coming months," he said. Meanwhile, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying that Pakistan had on Monday proposed to India that artillery and mortars should be deployed 30 km away from the Line of Control(LoC).

The proposal was made during the first phase of the two-day talks that focussed on conventional CBMs. Pakistan also proposed measures for repatriating individuals who inadvertently cross the border and suggested an agreement to prevent incidents at sea, the daily reported.

The two sides exchanged notes on the implementation of earlier agreements, including the ceasefire that was put in place along the LoC in November 2003, the working of a hotline between the Directors General of Military Operations of the two sides, the hotline between India`s Coast Guard and Pakistan`s Maritime Security Agency and a pact on preventing airspace violations. Monday`s talks also focused on CBMs related to cross-LoC trade and travel that were unveiled during parleys between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in July.

The talks on the CBMs are the first formal engagement between India and Pakistan since Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in the Maldives last month. The two countries resumed their peace process in February after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks that were carried out by Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.