India-Pak discuss defence `contacts`

India and Pakistan have discussed a wide array of defence-related confidence building measures.

Islamabad: India and Pakistan have discussed a wide array of defence-related confidence building measures, including a proposed pact to prevent "situations at sea" and contacts between military training establishments, during talks between their Foreign Secretaries.

An Indian draft on an agreement to prevent "situations at sea" involving vessels of the two countries has been discussed at previous meetings and the Pakistani side agreed to have a look at the document, an Indian official said at the conclusion of the two-day talks yesterday.

There were discussions on contacts between the defence training establishments of the two countries, including India`s National Defence College and Pakistan`s National
Defence University, the official said.

"There was also a suggestion for contacts between defence and security think tanks, including the holding of seminars and conferences," the official added.

Among other proposals discussed by the two sides were measures for better coordination between India`s Coast Guard and Pakistan`s Maritime Security Agency and steps to put in
place new nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures, the official said.

The two countries decided that groups of experts, headed by officials of the rank of joint secretary, would meet soon to discuss such CBMs.

Dates for the meetings of these groups will be decided through diplomatic channels, the official said.

The talks between Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao focussed on the Kashmir issue, peace and security, including CBMs, and the
promotion of friendly exchanges.


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