Pak Proposes Demilitarization Of LoC

Pak Proposes Demilitarization Of LoC

27 December 2011
Rising Kashmir
Rezaul H. Laskar

Islamabad: Maintaining that the ongoing talks with India on nuclear and conventional CBMs will help forge greater understanding between the two countries, Pakistan has proposed to New Delhi that heavy artillery should be removed from the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and deployed 30 kms from the defacto border. “India and Pakistan need to understand each other's nuclear doctrines and ongoing talks on nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures will help foster greater understanding,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said. He said the ongoing parleys will help the two countries to understand each other's viewpoint. Senior Indian and Pakistani officials began the second phase of two-day talks on nuclear and conventional CBMs today. “The Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs is meeting after four years to share notes and exchange views on existing CBMs. India and Pakistan will make further progress on issues during bilateral talks in the coming months,' Basit said. Meanwhile, Pakistan newspaper Dawn quoted its sources as saying that Pakistan had yesterday proposed to India that artillery of greater than 120 mm and heavy mortars should be removed from LoC and deployed 30 km away from the Line of Control. The proposal was made during the first phase of the two-day talks that focussed on conventional CBMs. Pakistan also proposed measures for repatriating individuals who inadvertently cross the border and suggested an agreement to prevent incidents at sea. “Hopefully, removing the guns would help to reduce such deaths, said Pakistan Foreign office spokesman. The expert-level meeting on nuclear and conventional CBMs is being held after a gap of four years. YK Sinha, Joint Secretary in charge of Pakistan desk in India's External Affairs Ministry, led the Indian side at the talks on conventional CBMs. The talks on nuclear CBMs were led by Venkatesh Verma, Joint Secretary in charge of disarmament in MEA. Munawar Saeed Bhatti, Additional Secretary in Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed the Pakistan delegation for both expert groups. The talks on the CBMs are the first formal engagement between India and Pakistan since Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in the Maldives last month. The two countries resumed their peace process in February after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.


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