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Track II Indo-Pak teams try to bridge the gulf

Track II Indo-Pak teams try to bridge the gulf
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A Track II military CBMs [confidence building measures] initiative of top former armed forces officers and diplomats of India and Pakistan ended the first phase of their deliberations in Lahore last week.

These talks of the two teams, led by retired Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi and retired Chief of Army Staff, General Jehangir Karamat, stretched over five global locations and began since November last year.

In this final meeting of Phase I, the two groups together took stock of the existing CBMs, and proposed some new ones to bridge the ‘trust deficit’ between the two countries. Some of the older CBMs they took the measure of were the DGMO hotlines; no-attack on nuclear facilities list exchanges; advance notice for military exercises and manoeuvres; prevention of air space violations.

The joint committee also looked at electronic communications links between the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency and the Indian Coast Guard; Informal ceasefire along the LOC/AGPL [Advanced Ground Position Line]; Joint patrolling along the international border and the non-development of new border posts; Biannual meeting between the Heads of the Indian Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers; Advance notification of Ballistic missile tests.

On most these CBMs, the verdict was that they were working reasonably well. A few major changes sought were the inclusion of advanced notification for cruise missile tests; and inclusion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAVs] in prevention of air space violations.

 The joint committee also discussed the CBMs that have been discussed but have not been agreed upon, such as, prevention of incidents at sea agreement; development of a Pakistan Air Force-Indian Air Force Communications link and of a communications link between the two navies etc.
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