SRINAGAR - The fourth round of talks between Pakistan and India held at the Kaman Post in Held Kashmir's Baramulla district over the resumption of trade ties remained inconclusive with Islamabad reiterating its demand for the release of detained driver.
Officials said the meeting between the two sides couldn't break the ice, as the Azad Kashmir authorities refused to resume trade till release of the driver arrested on charges of smuggling narcotics into Valley.
The Azad Kashmir delegation was led by Brigadier (r) Mohammad Ismail Khan, while Indian side was led by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja. The meeting started at 3:30 pm and ended at 5:30 pm without any conclusion. A senior official who was part of the talks said meeting remained inconclusive as Azad Kashmir authorities demanded immediate release of the driver. "The next meeting will be held on February 10 to break the deadlock," the official added.
Officials from Pakistan and India have held three meetings in the past to resolve the crisis caused by the arrest of the Pakistani driver. The first and second meetings on January 18 and January 27 remained inconclusive while the meeting on January 30 was partially successful as both sides announced to resume travel ties. However, trade across the Line of Control (LoC) remained suspended. Separately, India's Defense Minister AK Antony told reporters at a defence exhibition on Thursday that ceasefire violations on India's de-facto border with Pakistan had come down over the past two to three months.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said it was committed to seek a just and peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
This was stated by the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani speaking at a special event organised at the Pakistani embassy on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Washington DC. Ambassador Jilani reaffirmed Pakistan's support to the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for seeking their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN resolutions.
He also recalled that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the UN General Assembly last year had highlighted that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute would bring lasting peace and stability in South Asia.