India, Pak exchange proposals on conventional, nuclear CBMs

Islamabad: India and Pakistan have exchanged several proposals on conventional and nuclear confidence- building measures like inclusion of cruise missile launches in the mechanism for advance notification of missile tests.

The proposal for including cruise missile tests in the existing bilateral agreement on Pre-Notification Of Flight Testing Of Ballistic Missiles, signed in October 2005, was mooted by the Indian side during yesterday`s talks between the Foreign Secretaries on peace and security, sources familiar with the discussions told PTI.

The Pakistani side gave a proposal for the two sides to "exchange experiences and expertise" in the field of nuclear technology, especially the operation of atomic power plants and their safety mechanisms, the sources said.

Making a reference to the recent nuclear accident at the Fukushima atomic plant in Japan after a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Pakistani side proposed that the two sides could work together to address similar safety concerns, they added.

The proposals were discussed by the two sides but no firm commitment was made by either delegation, the sources said.

The discussions were only of a preliminary nature and both sides would explore the proposals in future talks, they added.

Islamabad has been pressing Washington to provide it with a civil nuclear deal similar to the one concluded with New Delhi.

The US has initiated preliminary talks with Pakistan on this issue but made it clear that any possible deal is unlikely to be concluded anytime in the near future due to continuing proliferation concerns.

The existing agreement between India and Pakistan on pre-notification of missile tests covers surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

In the nuclear field, a leading CBM is the annual exchange of lists of nuclear installations of the two countries.