A day after Chief of the Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani advocated demilitarisation of Siachen, the Foreign Office on Thursday clarified that there is no change in Pakistan's position on the issue; adding that it is in the mutual interest of both countries to address all issues in a meaningful and result-oriented manner.

Asked if General Kayani's statement can be perceived as a change in the Ministry's stance, spokesman Moazzam Khan said: “Let this be clear, there is no change in Pakistan's position on Siachen.” While pointing out that the next round of Defence Secretary-level talks on Siachen were due shortly, he flagged the recent meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi where both leaders stressed the need to find a “pragmatic and practical” solution to all issues.

Preferring not to comment on the former premier, Nawaz Sharif's call for Pakistan taking the initiative in demilitarising Siachen, Mr. Khan said various proposals had been made under the Siachen dialogue process, including redeployment of forces.

While maintaining that Pakistan's position on Siachen remained unchanged — the recent remarks by Mr. Sharif and General Kayani notwithstanding — the spokesman refused to be drawn into commenting on India testing Agni-V despite repeated questions on the issue. All he was willing to say was that India had informed Pakistan about the test in accordance with the May 2005 agreement regarding pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles. As to whether the test would lead to an arms race in the region, his reply was: “Our official position is very clear on the matter. I don't really have anything to add to it.”

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