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'India-Pak engaged in back-channel diplomacy'

Written by: Staff
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Islamabad, May 11: India and Pakistan are engaged in hectic ''back-channel'' negotiations to finalise agenda for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Islamabad next month, a media report said today.

'The Nation' quoted officials as predicting ''productive dialogue'' on Kashmir as well Siachen and Sir Creek conflicts.

The paper also quoted a senior official claiming that secret diplomacy between the two countries had hammered out a pact on troops withdrawal from the Siachen glacier and resolution of the Sir Creek issue.

He said Mr Singh would make important announcements during his Islamabad visit in June.

''Another important development in the form of productive dialogue on Kashmir is expected during his visit,'' said the official, adding, ''they are not expecting any major breakthrough but President Pervez Musharraf's proposal for self-rule may come up for discussion.'' When asked about the agreed formula for ''troops withdrawal'' from Kashmir, he said, ''Pakistan is likely to acknowledge current positions of Indian troops on the glacier and New Delhi in return is expected to show more flexibility on the distance to which its troops would be pulled back.''

UNI

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