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India, Pak meet reviews Siachen issue

Source: PTI
September 21, 2007 21:53 IST
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Three days after Islamabad lodged a protest over the Indian decision to allow tourism in Siachen, the matter came up for discussion as Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon in New Delhi.

The issue came up as the two sides reviewed progress of talks on Siachen issue during their meeting, sources told PTI.

"The issue figured in normal course of discussions and there was no protest by the Pakistani side," a source said.

Pakistan Foreign Office summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra on Monday to lodge a protest over New Delhi's decision to allow common people in Siachen for trekking.

Insisting that Siachen is a 'disputed' region, Pakistan said the Indian decision will 'adversely affect' the ongoing peace efforts and turn the whole process 'on its head.'

New Delhi rejects this view, saying Siachen is a part of India and has right to any activity in the region.
"The area (Siachen) remains a conflict zone and the reported move by India to open this for tourism could aggravate the situation with serious consequences that vitiate the atmosphere for the ongoing peace process," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam had said.

A batch of trekkers has already left for Siachen.

Malik and Menon also discussed issues related to release of prisoners, trade, confidence-building measures and other matters listed under the composite dialogue process. The two countries will hold secretary-level talks on nuclear and conventional CBMs next month.

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