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Pakistan, India, to Discuss Atomic Trust-Promoting Activities

South Asian antagonists Pakistan and India are slated to assess the status of bilateral nuclear trust-promoting actions at a meeting of their two foreign secretaries this week, the Xinhua News Agency reported (see GSN, June 8).

Neither New Delhi nor Islamabad anticipate significant headway to be me made at the Thursday and Friday talks on such contentious issues as the disputed Kashmir region and extremism, according to the Hindu newspaper.

The two nuclear-armed states agreed in March to relaunch the stalled "composite dialogue." India pulled out of the peace process after the November 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, which were orchestrated by Pakistani-based extremists and killed more than 160 people. The two neighboring states have gone to war three times since 1947 (see GSN, April 1).

New Delhi says hopes for the discussions should be "realistic" in light of the number of fraught issues.

"Dialogue is a process. We should not expect a decision," an anonymous official said. "We should go step-by-step" (Xinhua News Agency , June 20).

The two countries are at odds over allegations that both sides' navies have engaged in "dangerous" actions in waters near the Gulf of Aden, the Times of India reported.

Islamabad and New Delhi are to examine the current nuclear confidence-building measures of advanced notice of missile launches and the yearly swapping of lists of atomic sites in each country. Following this week's foreign secretary-level meeting, specialists from both sides are to meet sometime in 2011 for a more thorough examination of the trust-building actions.

The two nations have previously been divided over Islamabad's wish for time-limited actions, as New Delhi favors long-term measures (Times of India, June 20).

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Country Profile

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This article provides an overview of Pakistan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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