THE Pakistan-India secretary-level talks held under the composite dialogue deliberated certain vital matters of concern to the two countries on the first day of the two-day meeting at Islamabad on Tuesday. They signed a memorandum of understanding for the prevention of the smuggling of drugs and narcotics across the border. Pakistan's Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah, India's Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and their advisers exchanged views on a host of issues to improve the climate of bilateral relations. Reportedly, they agreed, for the first time, to stop blaming each other for any untoward incident in their countries unless supported by concrete evidence. If real progress could be recorded on such matters, it should serve to build mutual trust and confidence that New Delhi stresses is a prerequisite to the resolution of more complicated, contentious issues. Unfortunately, however, the five years of experience of the composite dialogue under whose umbrella also falls the joint anti-terrorism mechanism, the main focus of the meeting, inspires little hope that India would show sincerity in turning the corner in the bilateral ties once its concerns have been met and would be inclined to meaningfully take up Kashmir, the core dispute that is at the root of enmity and tension between the two countries and an unending source of suffering of the people of Kashmiris, not to talk of other issues. New Delhi's attitude gives an unmistakable impression that its appetite for confidence building measures is unlimited. The Pakistani leadership ought to gauge the undercurrents of its strategy and not fall into the trap of proceeding with the normalisation of relations unless accompanied by progress on Kashmir, Sir Creek, etc; for concurrent progress is stipulated in the concept of composite dialogue. On Tuesday, the two Interior Secretaries agreed to boost cooperation in areas of crossborder terrorism, illegal immigration and human smuggling, the influx of fake currency to each other's country and the liberalisation of the visa regime. They also decided to raise the level of cooperation between the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan and the Central Bureau of Investigation of India in this context. To implement the decision they set up a committee composed their additional secretaries that would meet soon and formulate their agenda. It is earnestly hoped that these measures would make their impact felt on the thinking of the Indian leadership and persuade it to see the wisdom of settling Kashmir, water and other disputes in the interest of peace and development in the Subcontinent.