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Indo-Pak to notify before missile tests
August 07, 2005 01:42 IST
India and Pakistan on Saturday night reached an understanding on the proposed agreement on pre-notification of flight-testing of ballistic missiles.
After days of intensive discussions on nuclear confidence-building measures, the two countries also decided to establish by September the hotline between their foreign secretaries, Additional Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry Meera Shankar told reporters.
The two sides also decided to upgrade by next month the existing hotline between their directors general of military operations.
The agreed text of the proposed agreement on pre-notification of the tests will be referred to the foreign secretaries of the two countries for formalisation, Shankar said after the talks with Pakistan's additional secretary.
"The proposed agreement commits both sides to pre-notify in a structured format flight testing of ballistic missiles with the objective of enhancing mutual confidence and engendering predictability and transparency of intent," a joint statement said.
Noting that both India and Pakistan were nuclear states, Hyder described the agreement on prior notification as a 'good step in the right direction'.
He said he looked forward to the talks on conventional CBMs to be held here on Monday hoping that a similar agreement will be reached in those parleys also.
On operationalisation of the hotlines between the foreign secretaries, the joint statement said it was aimed at 'preventing misunderstandings and reducing risks relevant to nuclear issues'.
"In this connection, discussions on related technical parameters were held," it said adding details about implementation and testing schedules were also exchanged.
On upgradation of hotlines between the DGMOs of the two countries, Hyder said it would involve making lines better.
The Pakistani official pointed out that relations between the two neighbours have been "complex" for several years and said achieving of results was important.
To a question about the recent nuclear deal between the US and India, Hyder said Pakistan also was discussing the issue with Washington.
He said the US should give the nuclear energy to both India and Pakistan so that the "balance is not disturbed" in South Asia.