Indo-Pak Home Secys to have hotline

NEW DELHI, May 13:
India and Pakistan will soon set up a hotline between their home secretaries that will facilitate real time information sharing on terrorist threats.
More than a year after New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to set up the direct communication line connecting the two top bureaucrats, the technical parameters in this regard have been completed and Standard Operating Procedures formulated.
“We are awaiting Pakistan’s consent to the SOPs and the moment we receive their response, we will go ahead with setting up the hotline,” a senior Home Ministry official said.
However, it is not clear whether the hotline will materialise before the India-Pakistan home secretary level talks scheduled to be held in Islamabad on May 24-25.
As of now, the hotline will be non-encrypted and it will be installed either at the first floor office of the Home Secretary in the North Block or in the Home Ministry control room, which functions 24×7.
When the hotline will become operational, it will be considered as a major confidence building step between India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the hotline during the last home secretary-level talks held in New Delhi in March 2011 “to facilitate real time information sharing with respect to terrorist threats”.
The Director-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries already have a hotline. This hotline was helpful when an Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter inadvertently landed in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir in October last year.
The DGMOs of both countries activated the communication line which led to early release of the chopper and the men by Pakistan.
New Delhi has hotlines with Beijing and Moscow which are non-encrypted. (PTI)


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