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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
No breakthrough in Siachen talks
Siachen glacier
More soldiers have died of cold than enemy fire on Siachen
Talks between India and Pakistan on a long-running military stand-off over the Siachen glacier in Kashmir have ended without any breakthrough.

Correspondents say the two sides failed to overcome their differences on pulling back troops from the world's highest battlefield.

The Siachen glacier lies at more than 5,500m above sea level in the disputed region of Kashmir.

More soldiers have died from the extreme cold than from enemy fire.

A ceasefire has been in place across Kashmir, including Siachen, since November 2003 and the nuclear rivals have engaged in a peace process.

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The two sides say they have agreed to continue talks but have not set any dates for their next meeting.

"We have exchanged ideas and have tried to understand one another's position and there were discussions that we have carried out and we will continue to carry them forward," Pakistan's Defence Secretary, Tariq Waseem Ghazi, said.

Earlier defence ministry officials from both sides, expressed optimism that the talks, in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, would make progress.

Pakistani Defence Secretary Tariq Waseem Ghazi (left) with his Indian counterpart Ajai Vikram Singh (right).
Both sides have agreed to meet again

"We have been given directions by [our] respective political leadership to move ahead," Indian Defence Secretary Ajai Vikram Singh was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Pakistan wants both sides to pull back to the positions they held more than 20 years ago before India occupied most of the ice field.

India agrees but says the withdrawal should be preceded by marking the current position of the two forces.

Kashmir solution

Last week Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said that a solution to the long-running Kashmir dispute lay within the grasp of the leaders of both countries.

He said demilitarisation by Indian security forces - accused of atrocities against Kashmiris - should go hand in hand with an end to atrocities by militants who have been fighting India since 1989.

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over the territory but embarked on a peace process 18 months ago.

The latest step last month was the start of the first bus service to cross the Line of Control that divides Indian and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.




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