Pak proposes dates for second round of talks with India

Himalayan News Service

Islamabad, April 23:

Pakistan has proposed to India a schedule for the second round of their composite dialogue process beginning in the last week of May and continuing till the end of August. The talks will cover eight issues: Kashmir; peace and security; Siachen; Sir Creek; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; terrorism and drug trafficking; promotion of friendly and cultural relations;

and economic and trade cooperation. The two countries had agreed to resume the dialogue process following a meeting in Islamabad Jan 6, 2004, between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Region Cooperation (SAARC) summit.

The first round of talks was held last year and the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers reviewed their outcome in September. The schedule for the second round of the dialogue, Daily Times reported today, proposes talks in Islamabad on Siachen on May 24-25 and on Sir Creek on May 26. Experts from both countries have already completed their report on a joint survey of the horizontal boundary pillars in Sir Creek in the Rann of Kutch area near Gujarat and this will be taken up at the talks. Talks on the Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project in Jammu and Kashmir and on terrorism and drug smuggling have been proposed in New Delhi for June 15-16 and July 5-6 respectively. Talks on friendly and cultural exchanges have been proposed for July 26-27 in Islamabad and on economic and trade cooperation for August 9-10 in New Delhi. It has been proposed that the foreign secretaries of the two countries meet in Islamabad on August 30-31 for talks on Kashmir, as well as on peace and security issues, and to review the outcome of the second round of the dialogue process.