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India-Pakistan Joint Press Statement on Framework for Bilateral Talks

On February 18, 2004, India and Pakistan reached an agreement on a framework for talks on bilateral issues including Kashmir, terrorism and nuclear weapons. Indian Foreign Secretary Shashank and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Ahmad Khokhar, according to a joint statement, endorsed the agreement worked out at the Joint Secretary-Director General level dialogue held in Islamabad on February 16 and 17. Following is the full text of the statement:


The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India met in Islamabad on February 18, 2004.

2. They reviewed and endorsed the agreement worked out at the Director General/Joint Secretary level meetings on February 16-17 on the modalities and timeframe for discussions on all subjects on the agenda of the Composite Dialogue.

3. Both sides agreed that they would approach the composite dialogue with the sincere desire to discuss and arrive at a peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides. They reiterated their commitment to promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for their peoples and for future generations.

4. They agreed to the following schedule of meetings:

i. Foreign Secretaries would meet in May/June 2004 for talks on Peace and Security including CBMs; and Jammu & Kashmir.

ii. Talks on Siachen; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; Sir Creek; Terrorism and Drug Trafficking; Economic and Commercial Cooperation; and Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in Various Fields would be held at the already agreed levels, in July 2004.

5. The following technical level meetings would be held earlier:

a. Meeting between Director General Pakistan Rangers and Inspector General Border Security Force in March / April 2004;

b. Expert level talks on Nuclear CBMs in the latter half of May 2004;

c. Committee on Drug Trafficking and Smuggling in June 2004.

6. They reviewed the existing links between the Directors General Military Operations of Pakistan and India and agreed to consider further strengthening these contacts.

7. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the External Affairs Minister of India would meet in August 2004 to review overall progress. This would be preceded by a one day meeting of the Foreign Secretaries.


February 18, 2004

Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.






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