ISLAMABAD – Pakistan and India on Monday began two-day talks on conventional and nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs) in the Pakistani capital.

A 10-member Indian delegation is taking part in the parlays, being held after a gap of four years, as part of the bilateral dialogue process. The two sides discussed conventional CBMs on Monday at the Foreign Office and will take up nuclear issues today (Tuesday), officials said.

YK Sinha, joint secretary in-charge of Pakistan Desk in the Indian External Affairs Ministry, led the Indian side at the dialogue on conventional CBMs, while talks on nuclear CBMs will be led by Venkatesh Verma, joint secretary in-charge of disarmament in the External Affairs Ministry. Foreign Ministry Additional Secretary Munawar Saeed Bhatti would head the Pakistan delegation for both expert groups, the ministry said.

In the fifth round of expert-level discussions on conventional CBMs, officials of the two countries focused on implementing the cross-Kashmir trade and travel CBMs that were unveiled during the talks between the foreign ministers in July. The two sides are also expected to discuss an agreement for removing weapons along the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region, and exchange notes on their war doctrines.

Issues related to nuclear security and missile tests will be discussed today when the two sides hold the sixth round of expert-level discussions on nuclear CBMs, sources said. The two sides are expected to explore the possibilities of expanding the scope of nuclear CBMs to include a pre-notification of cruise missile test launches.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said on Monday that expert-level talks between the two states on nuclear and conventional CBMs are aimed at taking forward the composite dialogue process.

“Objective behind joint secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India is to promote confidence building measures besides reviewing such steps for cause of  peace and security of the region which are not detrimental to the security of both the countries and the two countries advance their defence system in stable way”, the spokesman said. CBMs on conventional arms are at the centre stage of talks. “These talks have nothing to do with visas or other matters,“ he told a private TV channel.

Abdul Basit also said: “The way exchange of information takes place with India before test-firing of ballistic missiles, we want to exchange the information in the same fashion in future as well.“ He said the nuclear issues were discussed when the foreign secretary visited India in June last year and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar during July last.

The talks are being held days before Pakistan and India will exchange the lists of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 under “Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities”. This accord was signed on December 31, 1988, and both countries exchange the list every year on January 1.

FO spokesperson also said that a “break of four years is enough much”. “The need is there that contacts should take place between the two countries and we have to review where the confidence building measures are needed.”

India and Pakistan resumed their dialogue process early this year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Islamabad in June 2011 where both sides agreed to re-convene the two expert groups, which last met in New Delhi in October 2007. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also met his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in the Maldives on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in November and decided to push trust-building measures to add momentum to the revived dialogue process.