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3rd round of Indo-Pak dialogue from Jan 17

Source: PTI
December 22, 2005 16:35 IST
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Foreign Secretaries of India and and Pakistan will meet in New Delhi on January 17-18 to initiate the third round of the composite dialogue between the two countries, a media report said.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan will head his country's delegation at the two-day talks with his Indian counterpart Shyam Saran, local daily Dawn reported. No official announcement about the third round of the composite dialogue has been made yet in Islamabad or New Delhi, but diplomatic sources said "Pakistan suggested these dates (January 17-18) to India and they have accepted."

Pakistan was looking forward to these talks, an official said. "We have had two rounds so far and established good atmosphere. Now we need to move forward and address the issues, which are a cause for concern. Jammu and Kashmir is the core issue and, unless this is resolved, nothing substantive can be achieved."

Khan and Saran would be deliberating on Kashmir and peace and security. "These talks will provide an opportunity for engagement on these issues," another official said. The two sides will also review the last two rounds of the composite dialogue, the daily said.

The two Foreign Secretaries will also announce schedule for nearly seven items contained in the composite dialogue so that these meetings can be held before the foreign ministers of the two countries meet most probably by August 2006.

Some of the subjects to be included in the schedule are Siachen Glacier, Sir Creek, terrorism, drug trafficking and confidence-building measures on nuclear and conventional weapons. Proposals on Kashmir and peace and security will also be exchanged, the report said.

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