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India-Pakistan to discuss Kashmir, CDP, SAFTA

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

Islamabad, Jan 13: India and Pakistan will hold discussions heretoday on several contentious issues including Kashmir and cross-borderterrorism with Islamabad stressing on President Musharraf's four pointformula and New Delhi demanding reining in of terrorists.

The two sides will also discuss Siachen and Sir Creek, opening ofconsulates in Karachi and Mumbai, implementation of the South Asia FreeTrade Agreement (SAFTA) and the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will hold discussionswith his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri in the back dropof warmth in bilateral relations that have made resolution of disputesa reality.

Although not much is expected from today's meetings, but officialshere said it would give a definite forward push to improvement inrelations.

The External Affairs Minister, immediately after his arrival atthe Chaklala Airport here, will call on President Pervez Musharraf toextend an invitation to him for attending the 14th SAARC Summit to beheld in New Delhi in April.

He will also call on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and later hold meeting with his counterpart.

Tomorrow, Mr Mukherjee is scheduled to meet some political leadersand later visit the ancient historical site of Taxila, on the outskirtsof Islamabad, which was the seat of Mauryan empire.

Pakistan has indicated that it would relax visa restrictions for Indiantourists and raise the limit from five to 15 days. The two countriesare also likely to sign four agreements--liberalisation of visarestrictions and nuclear risk reduction. Federal Minister for Tourism,Niloufer Bakhtiar, said the government was considering increasing theduration of stay of Indian tourists from five to 15 days andintroducing a tourist section in the passports for the purpose.

The two sides will also set the agenda for the fourth round of theComposite Dialogue Process (CDP) besides reviewing the third round ofthe CDP.

India has already indicated its disinterest in PresidentMusharraf's proposal of joint management and said joint managementcould be possible in matter like tourism, environment etc.

Expectations are high in Pakistan that both countries are now ready to forget past and have a new beginning.


UNI

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