India, Pak to finalise modalities on Sep 22 for cross-LOC trade

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New Delhi, Sep 15 (UNI) India and Pakistan will hold a meeting here on September 22 to finalise modalities for initiating trade across the Line of Control (LoC) from October.

The meeting of the India-Pakistan Joint Working Group (JWG) on Cross LoC Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) will be held in the backdrop of terrorist bombings in Delhi yesterday and the increase in infiltration from across the border.

''The India-Pakistan Joint Working Group on Cross LoC CBMs will be meeting in the national capital on September 22 to finalise modalities for initiating Cross LOC trade in October 2008,'' the External Affairs Ministry said here this evening in a brief statement.

Officials of the two countries had met in Islamabad on July 18 and discussed modalities for implementation of the decisions taken by the Ministerial meeting of May 21 cross-LoC travel and trade.

They had also reviewed measures to ensure effective implementation of the existing cross-LoC measures.

Foreign Ministers of the two countries had also met in Islamabad on May 21 and reviewed the progress made in the Fourth Round of the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) encompassing Peace and Security, including CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, Terrorism and Drug Trafficking, Economic and Commercial Cooperation and Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in Various Fields.

The Ministers noted that in 2007 and over the course of the Fourth Round of the CDP, there had been a number of important bilateral achievements including an Agreement for trucks from one side to cross the border up to designated points on the other side at the Wagah-Attari border.

The two sides had also agreed to continue with the implementation of Cross-LoC CBMs with a view to enhancing interaction and cooperation across the LoC.

It was decided to increase the frequency of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Rawalkot-Poonch Bus service from a fortnightly to a weekly basis, finalise modalities for intra-Kashmir trade and truck service as early as possible and implement other measures to expand and facilitate travel.

UNI RB GT KN2136

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