UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan, India open nuclear CBMs talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Dec. 26, IRNA -- Senior Pakistani and Indian officials Monday opened two-day talks on conventional and nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) in Islamabad, officials said.

A 10-member Indian delegation is taking part in the talks as part of the bilateral dialogue process, they said.

Both sides will discuss conventional CBMs on Monday and nuclear issues on Tuesday, officials said.

Joint Secretary in charge of Pakistan desk in the External Affairs Ministry, YK Sinha, will lead the Indian side at the talks on conventional CBMs. They will be followed by talks on nuclear CBMs, with Venkatesh Verma, Joint Secretary in charge of disarmament in the External Affairs Ministry, leading the Indian delegation.

Munawar Saeed Bhatti, Additional Secretary in Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would head the Pakistan delegation for both expert groups, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Secretaries of the two countries met in Islamabad in June 2011 where both sides agreed to re-convene the two expert groups. These expert groups last met in New Delhi in October 2007.

This is the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs in over four years though other officials including the two Foreign Secretaries have discussed these issues in recent meetings in Islamabad and New Delhi.

Among the issues that are expected to be discussed at the upcoming meeting are CBMs related to Jammu and Kashmir and missile tests and steps to boost cross-Line of Control trade and travel, official sources said.

India and Pakistan resumed their dialogue process early this year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that was blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups.

Sources said that the expert-level discussions on conventional CBMs will focus on, among other things, implementing the cross-Kashmir trade and travel CBMs that were unveiled during the talks between foreign ministers in July.

The two sides are also expected to discuss an agreement for removing weapons along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region, and exchange notes on their war doctrines.

Issues relating to nuclear security and missile tests will also be discussed on Tuesday when the two sides hold the sixth round of expert-level discussions on nuclear CBMs, sources said.

The two sides are expected to explore the possibilities of expanding the scope of nuclear CBMs to include a pre-notification of cruise missile test launches.

The talks are held days before Pakistan and India will exchange the lists of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 under 'Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities'.

This accord was signed on December 31, 1988, and both countries exchange the list every year on January 1.

India and Pakistan resumed, in February this year, their dialogue process that was stalled after the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attacks.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30732755

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list