Pakistan, India Agree On Kashmiris' Meet At LoC
4 September 2005
Islamabad: Pakistan and India have agreed on the reunion of divided Kashmiri families at designated places along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, a move which they believe would address the grave problems of the Kashmiri people. India came up with the proposal of divided Kashmiri families' meetings at five designated places on LoC in December 2004. However, at that time, Pakistan's response to the Indian proposal was not forthcoming. The diplomatic sources here said Pakistani authorities responded positively to the Indian suggestion in the recent foreign secretary level meeting and it was decided that the issue would be discussed by the relevant officials who would finalize the designated points for meetings between the Kashmiri families. India had proposed that the divided Kashmiri families be allowed to meet at five places including Mundhar, Poonch, Suchetgarh, Uri and Tanggarh. It believed that such meetings should take place regularly, the sources said. They said it was in this context that Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran while addressing a press conference here a couple of days ago said that the South Asian nuclear states should focus on addressing the negative consequences of boundary lines drawn on the map. A source said that Pakistan had in principle agreed with India about the meetings between divided Kashmiri families however, it would see whether the places proposed by India were suitable for the reunification of Kashmiris on both the sides of LoC or not. When asked about the schedule of technical level meeting between Islamabad and New Delhi on the Kashmiri families' meetings, the sources said it would be held soon and both the sides would contact each other through diplomatic channels to work out the possible dates. An official privy to the recently-held foreign secretaries' meeting said India was for increased interaction between the Kashmiri people on both sides of LoC, which Islamabad believed was not something objectionable. But at the same time, it had urged New Delhi to go for some other CBMs such as troops' reduction in Held Kashmir and withdrawal of black laws, the official added.