Besides terror and the revelations by suspected 26/11 mastermind Abu Jundal, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan also had extensive discussions on confidence building measures and the situation in Kashmir.
A joint statement issued by both sides after the conclusion of talks in New Delhi, said the issue of peace and security, including CBMs, was discussed in a comprehensive manner. It added that both sides emphasized the need to promote greater trust and mutual understanding through constructive dialogue.
With regards to Kashmir, the statement says that there was a “comprehensive exchange of views” on the issue and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner, with a view to finding a peaceful solution by “narrowing divergences and building convergences”.
It did not mention what exactly had been discussed, or the nature of the ‘views’ that had been exchanged between the two sides.
The Foreign Secretaries had also reviewed the implementation of the Nuclear and Conventional CBMs that had already been adopted. The statement said that a decision had been taken to conduct separate meetings of the Expert Level Groups on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs to discuss implementation and strengthening of the existing CBMs and suggest additional mutually acceptable steps that could build greater trust and confidence between the two countries, thereby contributing to peace and security.
The dates for the meetings of Expert Level Groups will be determined through diplomatic channels.
The statement said both sides had also decided to convene a meeting of the Working Group on Cross-LoC CBMs on 19 July in Islamabad to recommend steps for strengthening, streamlining and effectively implementing the existing trade and travel arrangements and propose modalities for introducing additional cross LoC CBMs.
The two Foreign Secretaries had also underlined the importance of greater people to people contacts and friendly exchanges in building a relationship of trust and friendship between the two countries. They noted that the text of a revised bilateral Visa Agreement has already been finalized and decided to work for its early signing.
The two countries had also emphasized the importance of greater parliamentary exchanges; promotion of cooperation in various fields including facilitating visits to Religious Shrines and cessation of hostile propaganda against each other.
The Foreign Secretaries will meet again in Islamabad, on a date to be decided through diplomatic channels, to prepare for the meeting of the External Affairs / Foreign Ministers in September 2012.