India-Pakistan talks: No agreement on Siachen

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New Delhi, Jun 1: India and Pakistan on May 31 failed to agree on the modalities for demilitarisation of Siachen but decided to continue talks to arrive at a solution to one of the major vexed issues.

While both sides being in principle agreement over demilitarisation of the once world's highest battlefield, India is insisting that Pakistan should authenticate present troop position of the two sides.

At the end of the two-day Defence Secretary-level talks, the two sides issued a joint statement saying the present dialogue has "enhanced understanding" of each other's position and they have agreed to continue the discussions in a "meaningful and result-oriented manner".

The two sides, discussing the issue after a gap of three years, presented their positions and suggestions to each other towards resolution of Siachen issue, the statement said.

At the end of the meeting, Pakistani side handed over a ''non-paper'' (an unofficial document) on Siachen which contained its stated position on demilitarisation and other related issues.

The Indian side said it would "study" it and discuss with Pakistan when the both sides meet next time.

Sources said the mention of non-paper was made in the joint statement following Pakistan's request.

"Both Sides welcomed the ongoing dialogue process. The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere,.." the joint statement said.

"They (the delegations from the two sides) also acknowledged that the ceasefire was holding since November 2003. Both sides presented their positions and suggestions towards resolution of Siachen (issue)," it said.

PTI

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