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Pakistan, India talk missile tests but analysts say could do better

India and Pakistan will Tuesday thrash out an agreement to give each other notice of their ballistic missile tests, but analysts say the rivals are still far from being responsible nuclear powers. A meeting in Islamabad between key officials from the South Asian neighbours, who embarked on a slow-moving peace process in January, will focus on so-called nuclear confidence-building measures. As well as the test warnings, they will discuss the details of a hotline between top foreign ministry civil servants to avoid the possibility of nuclear conflict through any misunderstanding or accident. A second day of expert-level talks on Wednesday will deal with conventional arms.”This is all part of confidence-building measures, but to become responsible nuclear nations the two countries need to do much more,” Parvez Hoodbhoy, a nuclear physics professor at Islamabad’s Quaid-e-Azam University, told AFP. Pakistan and India held tit-for-tat nuclear detonations in 1998 and have twice since come close to war over divided Kashmir. They have also held periodic missile tests. The countries, which have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, have refused to sign non-proliferation treaties because they are not formally recognised as nuclear powers.

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OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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