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India-Pakistan dialogues: Third round on January 17
December 25, 2005 19:20 IST
The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet in New Delhi on January 17-18 to launch the third round of the Composite Dialogue Process between the two countries, official sources said in New Delhi on Sunday. The two countries have successfully completed two rounds of the Composite Dialogue.
Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran will head the Indian delegation at the two-day talks with his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan to kick-start the third round of the dialogue process and will discuss Kashmir and peace and security issues, among other things. Although no official announcement has been made about the beginning of the third round of the Composite Dialogue Process, the sources said the dates had been suggested by Islamabad.
Apart from discussing Jammu and Kashmir, the Foreign Secretaries will also review progress achieved during the previous two rounds. They will announce the schedule for discussions on various subjects under the Dialogue Process so that these meetings can be held before the Foreign Ministers of the two countries meet sometime in the middle of next year.
Some of the subjects which would be included in the schedule besides Kashmir, include, Sir Creek, Siachen, drug trafficking and terrorism and confidence-building measures on nuclear and conventional weapons. The Foreign Secretary-level meeting will mark the first high-level official contact between the two countries in 2006. This will be the fifth meeting between Foreign Secretaries of the two countries under composite dialogue framework since 2004.
The Foreign Secretary-level meeting acquires special significance in the backdrop of the proposals of "demilitarisation and self-governance" in Kashmir mooted by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. The over-riding message from Pakistan to India at the upcoming meeting will be to move forward from the "dispute management mode to the dispute resolution" mode and address all bilateral issues head-on, sources said.