Indo-Pak meet on cross-LoC CBMs today

New Delhi: Ahead of the Foreign Minister- level talks between India and Pakistan later this month, the joint working group between the two countries will hold talks on cross-LoC confidence building measures on Monday.

The meeting will "recommend measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing cross-LOC trade and travel arrangements and propose modalities for introducing additional Cross-LoC CBMs," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said here.

The meeting will be the first engagement between the two countries after the Mumbai triple blasts on July 13. It will be represented by officials of the External Affairs and Home Ministries while Pakistan will be represented by an officer of the rank of Director General from their foreign ministry.

During the meeting, the Indian side is expected to highlight the need to have a proper banking channel for cross border traders and categorisation of 21 items selected for trading with adequate safeguards, official sources said.

The Government has already cleared the proposal for increasing the number of trading days from existing two a week to four for cross-LoC trade besides multiple entry permit valid for six months in Jammu and Kashmir.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will head the Indian delegation for the talks slated for July 26-27 here.

Islamabad has announced that Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will lead the Pakistani delegation. She may be promoted to cabinet rank in the run up to the talks. Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir would also travel to New Delhi prior to the minister’s visit.