ISLAMABAD - Pakistan said Thursday it was finalising details for the next round of talks with India over various contentious issues including Siachen Glacier, but clarified that it has not changed its position on this matter.

Referring to the proposal for demilitarisation of Siachen after the Gayari incident, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said the issue was a part of the dialogue process and Pakistan had furnished several proposals – including the mutual redeployment of troops for the resolution of this issue but ‘there is no change in the policy on Siachen’.

This policy statement came a day after Army Chief Ashfaq Pervaz Kayani called for the area to be demilitarised, urging both Islamabad and New Delhi to also resolve other bilateral issues through negotiations so they could spend more on development than defence.

General Kayani, speaking after visiting the Gayari camp where the army says 129 soldiers and 11 civilians were buried by the avalanche, stressed the importance of ‘peaceful coexistence’ between India and Pakistan. “This conflict should be resolved, but how it is resolved, the two countries have to talk about it,” he said.

“It (Siachen) is being discussed at defence secretary level. The next meeting will be held in Pakistan and they are finalising the dates,” he told reporters. “We have made several proposals under the Siachen dialogue process, including the redeployment of forces.”

Referring to the meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the spokesman said the two leaders in their interaction underlined the importance of a pragmatic and practical solution of all the outstanding issues. He said the two countries would have to find some way to move forward. When asked about the US bounty on Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, he said Pakistan had adopted a clear stance on the matter and sought evidence to move against him.

To another question, the spokesman said a work plan was being evolved in consultation with all the stakeholders for the effective implementation of parliamentary guidelines on new terms of engagement with the United States. “The finalisation of the roadmap is our internal process and no dictation or instruction in this regard will be taken from the United States.”

He said no decision had yet been taken on the reopening of NATO supply line. “We will proceed forward after the finalisation of the work plan.” The spokesman maintained that Pakistan-US relations were important and ‘we want to address all the issues in a manner that shows respect to mutual interests and the redlines’. Commenting on drone strikes, Moazaam Khan said those amounted to violation of territorial integrity of Pakistan and the US had been conveyed concerns in that regard.

Answering a question on the Chicago Summit on Afghanistan next month, the spokesman said no decision had yet been taken. He, however, said Pakistan was in constant touch with Afghanistan to discuss all the issues, including terrorism. He said both the countries realised the threat posed by the menace and were engaged at various tiers to effectively deal with it.