India, Pak Defence Secy-level talks by April-end
New Delhi: India and Pakistan are likely to
resume Defence Secretary-level talks by month-end where they
will discuss several issues including demilitarisation of the
world`s highest battlefield - Siachen Glacier, and Sir Creek.
"The talks between the two Defence Secretaries are likely
to begin by the end of this month where they will look to
resolve the Siachen and the Sir Creek issues," a senior
Ministry official said here.
The dialogue on Siachen and Sir Creek issues would be
resumed after four years, though both sides have maintained a
ceasefire since November 2003.
The bone of contention in the negotiations between the two
sides, however, has been the "delineation" of the 110-km
Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) beyond the NJ-9842
reference point, where the Line of Control simply stopped in
the 1972 Shimla Pact, up to the Karakoram Pass.
India has been pressing for authenticating the AGPL, both
on the maps and the ground, as its troops occupy most of the
dominating posts on the Saltoro Ridge, before there is troop
disengagement, withdrawal and the final demilitarisation of
Sources in the Indian Army said demand for such an
arrangement would be made to delineate the AGPL before any
agreement for withdrawal of troops is reached between the two
Both India and Pakistan maintain a Brigade-level presence
across the 6,300-metre glacier where weather conditions and
the icy terrain claim more lives than bullets.
The Sir Creek dispute lies in the interpretation of the
maritime boundary line between Kutch in India and Sindh in
Talks between the Home Secretaries of the two countries
were held last week in Delhi and their Commerce Secretaries
are meeting on April 29.
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