ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s decision to grant most favoured nation (MFN) status to India is being welcomed by all quarters, as former diplomats, defence analysts and civil society representatives note with satisfaction the series of bilateral exchanges that have taken place over the last few months, leading to new confidence building measures (CBMs).
A joint communiqué issued at the end of a two-day brainstorming session in Bangkok on October 16-17 revealed the sentiment, the Jinnah Institute said in a separate press release issued on Tuesday.
A comprehensive discussion was conducted during the 7th round of the Chaophraya Dialogue on a range of issues impacting the bilateral relationship: terrorism and extremism, Kashmir, Afghanistan and trade and economic integration.
They noted that the meeting of defence secretaries, where non-papers were exchanged over Siachen, expressed hope that efforts would be made to reach an early agreement and hoped that the Sir Creek issue would be resolved at the next round of talks.
They called for a review of the existing CBMs and their effective implementation in letter and spirit, stressing on the need for
particular attention to be paid to the restrictive visa regime.
They proposed that new CBMs be concluded to facilitate telecommunication links and that restrictions be lifted on the access of
electronic and print media.
It was also suggested that the two sides explore nuclear and conventional CBMs and institutionalise high-level exchanges between the armed forces and intelligence agencies.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2011.
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