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India, Pak can resolve Kashmir issue in atmosphere free of terror, violence: Nirupama Rao

June 24, 2011 - Islamabad

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Friday said that India and Pakistan can resolve the "complex" Kashmir issue with bilateral talks in an atmosphere free of terror and violence.

Addressing a joint press conference in Islamabad with her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir, Rao said: "We must do away with the shadow of the gun and extremist violence because its only in an atmosphere free of terror and violence that we can discuss the resolution of such a complex issue."

She also said that the convening of the working group on cross-Line of Control-confidence building measures was a crucial step.

"I think it is a very important step because I always maintained that people are at the heart of our relationship and we must help the people of Jammu and Kashmir to connect with each other, to trade to travel more easily and essentially I think this is a process that we need to build on to strengthen, to sustain and I think the benefit of that process will be there for all of us to see as time goes by," the Foreign Secretary said.

India and Pakistan have agreed to convene a meeting of the working group on cross-LoC CBMs to recommend measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC and propose modalities for introducing additional cross-LoC CBMs.

The working group will meet in July.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said: "We have had a deep conversation on the Jammu and Kashmir issue. This is a process, as you would note, that we would like to take forward. We have agreed to continue discussing all matters related specifically to Jammu and Kashmir, with a view to find a common ground." By Smita Prakash


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