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Pakistan, India hold talks on Siachen

12 June, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: Indian and Pakistani defence secretaries on Monday kicked off two-day talks on the issues pertaining to demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier.

The 13th round of secretary-level talks formally commenced in the Defence Ministry against the backdrop of urge from Islamabad to demilitarise the glacier in the wake of an avalanche that killed 139 people at a Pakistan Army camp, sources in the ministry said.

In the meeting, Indian Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Pakistani Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi represented Indian and Pakistani sides respectively. The delegation arrived in Islamabad on Sunday on a three-day visit.

Talking to our sources, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said that Siachen was creating difficulties for the two countries as natural calamities were caused on both sides and now the two countries were holding talks to resolve the issue.

Official sources said that Pakistan was aiming at withdrawal of forces of the two countries from the glacier and to station them back on the position the two countries held before 1984. India maintained that no troop withdrawal was possible without Pakistan authenticating current troop position, delineating the boundary on the map and demarcating it on ground. India was not willing for demilitarisation, but now they started to think that it would benefit the two sides if a workable and mutually acceptable agreement reached in connection to Siachen, diplomatic sources said.

Earlier, the eight-member Indian delegation also called on Defence Minister Naveed Qamar. Matters of bilateral interests were discussed in the meeting. The minister expressed that it was in the interest of both the countries to resolve all outstanding issues, including Siachen.

End.

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