India-Pakistan Joint Statement
Statement, India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks in New Delhi
1.The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi on 17-18 January 2006 to commence the third round of talks under the India-Pakistan Composite Dialogue framework. Foreign Secretary of India Shri Shyam Saran led the Indian delegation while the Pakistan delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Mr. Riaz Mohammad Khan. They discussed issues related to ‘Peace and Security including CBMs’ and ‘Jammu and Kashmir’. The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and were constructive.
2. The two Foreign Secretaries assessed the developments in bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction at the progress made during the Composite Dialogue process. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to move forward the peace process in a meaningful way during the third round. They recalled the outcome of the discussions between the President of Pakistan and Prime Minister of India reflected in the Joint Statements of 6 January 2004, 24 September 2004, 18 April 2005 and 14 September 2005. Recalling the Joint Statement of 4 October 2005 issued at the conclusion of meeting of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the Minister for External Affairs of India, the two sides reiterated their resolve to carry forward the peace process and maintain its momentum.
3. On the issue of Peace and Security including CBMs, the two Foreign Secretaries reviewed and assessed positively the progress made during the meetings of experts on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs. The two Foreign Secretaries, with the objective of promoting a stable environment of peace and security, agreed to mandate the two experts groups to continue consultations on security concepts and nuclear doctrines to develop measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional fields aimed at avoidance of conflict, including, inter alia, consideration of the following:
(i) Continue discussions with a view to finalising an agreement on “Reducing Risk of Nuclear Accidents or Unauthorised Use of Nuclear Weapons”, on which a draft has been presented by India;
(ii) Conclusion of an agreement on prevention of incidents at sea in order to ensure safety of navigation by naval vessels, and aircraft belonging to the two sides. The Pakistani side indicated that they will present a draft of such an agreement;
(iii) Elaborating, consistent with its intent, the agreement reached on no development of new posts and defence works along the LoC. The Indian side handed over proposed elements;
(iv) Modalities for the conduct of already agreed monthly flag meetings between local commanders at the selected sectors. Both sides handed over suggested modalities.
4. The two Foreign Secretaries had a detailed exchange of views on Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue the sustained dialogue in a purposeful and forward looking manner to find a peaceful and negotiated final settlement.
5. The Foreign Secretaries noted with satisfaction the opening of the five crossing points across the Line of Control, and hoped that the process of promoting greater interaction between the divided families would get further impetus. They reiterated their commitment to start a bus service between Poonch and Rawalakot and a truck service on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar route for trade in permitted goods as soon as the infrastructure damaged during the October 2005 earthquake is restored.
6. The two Foreign Secretaries recalled their decision of 2004 regarding provision of consular access to all civilian prisoners and fishermen and their early repatriation on humanitarian grounds.
7. Both sides reiterated their resolve to simultaneously reopen their respective Consulates General in Mumbai and Karachi and to facilitate the process.
8. Both sides discussed the schedule of meetings, including technical level meetings, under the Composite Dialogue framework. The Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers will meet thereafter to review the third round of the Composite Dialogue.
9. Both sides also agreed to hold early meetings of the technical level working groups of the Joint Commission on Agriculture, Health, Science & Technology, Information, Education, I.T. & Telecommunication, Environment and Tourism so that they can report their progress to the Joint Commission.
10. The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan called on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri E. Ahmed during the course of his visit to New Delhi.
New Delhi 18 January 2006
Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.