ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office said on Thursday that there was no change in Pakistan’s position on Siachen, but hoped for progress in the upcoming meeting of defence secretaries of the two countries on the issue.
“Whenever we will discuss this issue, we will discuss it in a manner that we find a practical and pragmatic solution of Siachen based on mutual interest as was underscored by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in their meeting,” FO spokesman Moazam Khan said at his weekly briefing.
Both sides are working on dates for the next meeting of defence secretaries to be held in Rawalpindi under the resumed peace process.
The secretaries will discuss proposals for resolving Siachen and Sir Creek disputes.
Differences over how to conduct demilitarisation has prevented progress in previous rounds on Siachen. India wants Pakistan to authenticate the Actual Ground Position Line (the positions currently held by both sides) on the maps as well as on the ground. Pakistan has been insisting on withdrawing troops to pre-1972 positions as agreed in the Simla agreement.
In 1989, the defence secretaries had agreed on principles for ending the dispute, but India backed out. The principles included redeployment of forces, avoidance of use of force and determination of future positions on the ground in conformity with the Simla agreement.
Ceasefire has been holding in the region since 2003.
“It is in our mutual interest, both for Pakistan and India, that we address these issues in a meaningful and result-oriented manner,” Mr Khan said.