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Joint Statement after Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan

September 02, 2005

  • The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Mr. Riaz Mohammad Khan and the Foreign Secretary of India Mr. Shyam Saran met in Islamabad on September 1, 2005 to review the progress of the second round of the composite dialogue comprising Peace and Security including CBMs; Jammu and Kashmir; Siachen; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; Sir Creek; Terrorism and Drug Trafficking; Economic and Commercial Cooperation and Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in Various Fields. The talks were held in a cordial, constructive and friendly atmosphere.
  • The Foreign Secretaries reviewed the progress made so far and assessed the developments in bilateral relations since the last review meeting of the Composite Dialogue held in September 2004. The Foreign Secretaries expressed satisfaction over the positive developments during the current round of the composite dialogue. They also reaffirmed the important outcomes of the discussions between President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reflected in the 18th April, 2005 Joint Statement.
  • The Foreign Secretaries reviewed the work of their experts who discussed Nuclear and Conventional CBMs and have contributed to a better understanding of each other's concerns. They welcomed the continuation of the ceasefire and commended the finalization of the Agreement on Pre-Notification of Ballistic Missile Tests. They recommended that the Agreement on Pre-Notification of Flight Testing of Ballistic Missiles and the MOU on establishing communication links between the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and the Indian Coast Guard be signed during the forthcoming Ministerial Level Review Meeting on 3-5 October, 2005 at Islamabad.
  • The Foreign Secretaries welcomed the commencement of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus Service and agreed to hold a technical level meeting as soon as possible on the early operationalization of Poonch-Rawalakot Bus Service and a truck service for trade on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route. They agreed on further discussions on meeting points across LoC for divided families to ensure early implementation.
  • The Foreign Secretaries reiterated the importance of enhancing mutually beneficial economic cooperation and friendly exchanges. They noted that technical meetings would be held in September 2005 to review the bilateral Air Services Agreement and the Shipping Protocol. Technical experts will finalize the modalities for operationlisation of the Lahore-Amritsar and Nankana Sahib – Amritsar bus services during September 2005. They agreed that the 1988 Cultural Exchange Programme Agreement should be revised. The Foreign Secretaries noted the decision to expand the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines to increase the number of pilgrims and add new sites in both countries. In addition, it was agreed to undertake an updating of the 1974 Visa Agreement.
  • The two Foreign Secretaries agreed on the need to improve, on humanitarian grounds, the existing mechanism for expeditious disposal of consular issues related to prisoners, fishermen and inadvertent line crossers of either side. They also agreed to implement the understanding reached in this regard during the Foreign Secretaries level talks in December 2004 and Home/Interior Secretaries talks in August 2005. In this regard, the need for revision of the 1982 Protocol on Consular access was agreed upon. The Foreign Secretaries welcomed the decision to release all prisoners on 12th September 2005 whose nationality was confirmed and who have completed their sentences.
  • The Foreign Secretaries recalled the decision taken in April 2005 by President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to revive the India-Pakistan Joint Commission. They recommended that a meeting of the Joint Commission be held during the visit of External Affairs Minister, Mr. K. Natwar Singh to Pakistan on October 3-5, 2005.
  • The Foreign Secretaries agreed on the following schedule for third round of Composite Dialogue:
    1. The Foreign Secretaries would meet in January 2006 in New Delhi to launch the next round of the Composite Dialogue.
    2. The next round of the Composite Dialogue meetings on the other six subjects will be held between January and July 2006.
    3. All technical level meetings would be concluded by April 2006.
  • The Indian Foreign Secretary Mr. Shyam Saran paid a courtesy call on President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Islamabad
September 02, 2005

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