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India moots 7 CBM on Jammu and Kashmir

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
April 16, 2005 21:20 IST
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India has proposed seven Confidence Building Measures to Pakistan concerning Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of President Pervez Mushrraf's visit to Delhi.

These measures are important when seen in the backdrop of the revival of bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, which received overwhelming response from people in spite of serious security concerns.

It seems Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's vision of Kashmir is centred on having soft borders between India and Pakistan. 

On Sunday, the leaders are likely to discuss the following CBM on J&K put forth by India.

1) More bus links such as Kargil-Skardu route and in the Poonch-Rajouri sector.

2) More meeting points on the LoC for relatives from both sides to meet. The meeting points could be set up at Poonch, Mendhar, Suchetgarh, Uri and Tangdar. In the Kargil sector the meeting point could be in Ladakh.

3) Trade across the Line of Control and the international border.

4) Promotion of pilgrimages on both sides. India proposes to set up a mechanism to grant permission for pilgrims to visit these places. Sikh, Hindu and Muslim shrines including the Sharda temple, Pir Chinnasi and Gurudwara Chatti Patshahi needs to be included in existing protocol on Visits of Religious Shrines of 1974.

5) Expanding CBM in the cultural sector by way of more interaction and cooperation.

6) Promotion of joint tourism projects.

7) Expansion and opening up of new areas of cooperation such as management of environment and forest resources.

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi