India Pak talks on cross-LoC trade today
18 Jul 2011
Ahead of the foreign minister-level talks between India and Pakistan to be held later this month, the joint working group of the two countries would meet today to work out confidence building measures (CBMs).
According to an official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, the meeting would recommend measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade and travel arrangements and propose modalities for introducing additional cross-LoC confidence building measures.
The meeting would be the first engagement between the two countries after the 13 July Mumbai blasts in which India would be represented by officials of the home and external affairs ministries while Pakistan would be represented by an officer of the rank of director general from Pakistan's foreign ministry.
Zehra Akbari, Pakistan's DG (South Asia) would lead its delegation, while joint secretary Y K Sinha would lead the Indian side.
According to official sources, during the meeting, the Indian side would be expected to highlight the need to have a proper banking channel for cross border traders as also categorisation of 21 items selected for trading with adequate safeguards.
The government has already given the nod to the proposal for increasing the number of trading days from existing two to four per week for cross-LoC trade, in addition to multiple entry permit valid for six months in Jammu and Kashmir.
The two countries have decided not to let the 13 July Mumbai terror attacks come in the way of efforts to take forward the revived peace process.