ISLAMABAD - Pakistan will again push for its proposal of strengthening and expanding the existing border supervision mechanism to ensure peace on the Line of Control (LoC) when the country’s National Security Advisor meets the Indian External Affairs Minister today, informed sources say. 

PM’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz who arrived in India Sunday to participate in the Asia-Europe dialogue is scheduled to meet Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi later in the afternoon. On the agenda is also a meeting with the Indian National Security advisor Shivshankar Menon Tuesday. 

The volatile situation on the Line of Control (LoC) and violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement will be a key talking point among other issues that strain bilateral ties. Progress on the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks case will be another point of discussion as will be the need for early resumption of the dialogue process during the meeting, it is learnt.

From Pakistan side Ms Riffat Masood, Director-General South Asia Division at the Foreign Office, High Commissioner Salman Bashir and Deputy High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmed Khan will attend the meeting at the South Block.

The Kashmir issue and Mr. Aziz’s meetings with Hurriyat Conference leaders at the Pakistan High Commission Sunday that drew a sharp reaction from the Indians, particularly the hard line opposition party BJP, is also likely to figure in the talks.

Aziz and Khurshid last met in New York during the Nawaz Sharif-Manmohan Singh summit in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session.

The top diplomats of the two neighbouring countries will essentially pick up threads from the September 29 Pakistan-India summit in New York and review progress or lack of it since then on key decisions taken by their respective prime ministers. The brief on both sides is likely to be the same as for New York given no headway has been made.

Delhi has repeatedly indicated to Islamabad that resumption of the Composite Dialogue process will not be possible unless “peace and tranquillity” is ensured on the LoC and Pakistan brings perpetrators of the 2009 Mumbai attacks to book.

 “Pakistan will again re-emphasise the need for expanding the border mechanism to also include senior officials from the Foreign Ministries,” a diplomatic source told The Nation. Under the existing mechanism there is communication between DGMOs of the two countries through a hotline every Tuesday. 

On the issue of terrorism that is expected to be flagged by the Indian side, Pakistan will propose reactivating and upgrading the bilateral Joint Anti-terrorism institutional Mechanism.

Pakistan and India had decided in 2006 to set up a joint anti-terrorism mechanism which was headed by additional secretaries (UN) of the two foreign ministries. However, it did not get any further than four or five meetings.

This will be the third bilateral meeting between Sartaj Aziz and Salman Khurshid since their first in July when they met in Brunei during the ASEAN meetings. Their second detailed interaction was in September on the sidelines of a SCO meeting in Bishkek prior to the Sharif-Manmohan Summit. 

Pakistan and India both agree that dialogue is the only way forward to resolving of all outstanding issues but at this juncture prospects of resumption of the stalled peace process seem very dim.

Sartaj Aziz’s call-on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also expected today.