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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan, India hold joint commission meeting to remove irritants

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 4, IRNA

Pakistan and India on Tuesday revived after 16 years the joint commission to push the peace process ahead and to remove irritants in the way of normalization.

Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri and his Indian counterpart Natwar Singh led their delegations in the first meeting of the joint commission in 16 years.

The two foreign ministers were assisted by senior officials from various ministries and the two sides exchanged proposals to take the peace process forward.

At the outset of the meeting, Khurshid Kasuri and his Indian counterpart Natwar Singh expressed pleasure to take part in the first meeting.

Indian Secretary for External Affairs Shayam Sern said yesterday that the commission would discuss those areas, which are not part of the composite dialogue adding that composite dialogue will also continue side by side.

Meanwhile the two sides exchanged draft agreements on liberalizing visa rules and protocols on consular access and on visits to religious shrines to further promote people to people contacts and deal with the humanitarian issues of early consular access and release of prisoners, fishermen and inadvertent border crossers.

The joint commission will be headed by the respective foreign ministers and had three sittings since its inception in 1983.

The first meeting was held in the same year while the next took place in 1985 and the third one was in 1989.

Pakistan and India agreed on the highest level to revive the commission when President General Pervez Musharraf visited New Delhi in April last and his joint statement with the host Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh envisaged it.

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