ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Friday that it would host the next round of talks with India over the disputed Siachen Glacier on June 11-12 in Islamabad.
Troops from India and Pakistan have faced off on the glacier, high in the mountains of disputed Kashmir, since the 1980s but calls for the stand-off to end have been growing after an avalanche on April 7 which buried 140 people at a Pakistani army camp.
“Siachen is part of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan and defence secretary level talks on Siachen will be held on June 11 and 12 in Islamabad,” foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan told AFP.
“We want to resolve all issues through meaningful and result-oriented dialogue, and Siachen is an issue which is a source of concern for both the countries,” Khan added.
Pakistan’s army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, last month called for a negotiated end to the confrontation and said the glacier should be demilitarised.
Previous rounds of negotiations between Delhi and Islamabad on Siachen have ended in stalemate. Pakistan has said a redeployment of forces is one of “several proposals” made during the dialogue process.
Kayani last month stressed the importance of “peaceful coexistence between India and Pakistan” after an avalanche buried 129 Pakistani soldiers and 11 civilians.
This week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna pressed Pakistan to do more to combat Islamist terror networks, saying its territory should not be used as a launch pad for terrorist attacks anywhere.
Washington believes rapprochement between arch-rivals India and Pakistan can help ease regional tensions over Afghanistan as US combat troops prepare to leave in 2014.
Relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947, have been plagued by border and resource disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity against India. AFP