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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-321392 Pakistan/India/Talks
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=12/28/04

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=PAKISTAN/INDIA/TALKS (L-O)

NUMBER=2-321392

BYLINE=AYAZ GUL

DATELINE=ISLAMABAD

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

HEADLINE: India and Pakistan Talks End Without Breakthrough

INTRO: Pakistan and India have concluded another round of their on-going peace dialogue (Tuesday) but no significant breakthrough is reported in their most contentious territorial dispute over Kashmir. From the Pakistani capital, Ayaz Gul reports.

TEXT: Top foreign ministry officials of India and Pakistan held two days of talks in Islamabad, primarily focusing on ways to

resolve the long-running Kashmir dispute.

The divided region is at the center of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan and has triggered two of the three wars

between them.

A joint statement issued at the end of the talks Tuesday reported no progress towards a solution of Kashmir, which both sides claim

in its entirety.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokar was leading the Pakistani delegation. He says both sides have agreed to carry forward their talks on Kashmir.

///KHOKAR ACT///

"We are mindful of the fact that it has already taken 57 years and that we are not any closer to any solution. The position of the

two countries (on Kashmir) is diametrically opposite. But it is only through a process of dialogue it is only through a process of

discussion that these differences can be narrowed."

///END ACT///

Speaking at a separate news conference, head of the Indian delegation, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, described Kashmir a

complex issue. But he says that instead of reiterating their stated positions, both India and Pakistan should try to find a

common ground on which the two countries can build on their plans to solve the conflict over Kashmir.

///SARAN ACT///

"We believe that in fact we have embarked on that process. We believe that we are making some progress in that respect. I go

back with a sense of optimism that there is sincerity the commitment on both sides to take this process forward."

///END ACT///

As part of their wide-ranging peace process, India and Pakistan also have agreed that more meetings on issues such as border

disputes, counter-terrorism and drug trafficking as well as economic cooperation should be held between April and June. They

also have agreed that talks on building confidence on their conventional and nuclear weapons will be held between January and

June.

The two sides have decided to promote contacts between the local military commanders along their border while India has proposed

setting up five points along the disputed border in Kashmir to allow the reunion of divided families. However, Indian officials say

more talks are needed to iron out differences on travel documents to allow the proposed opening of a bus service between the two sides of Kashmir. (SIGNED)

NEB/AG/MEM



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