New Delhi: The two warring nations India and Pakistan on Tuesday failed to come on common terms over the modalities for demilitarisation of Siachen. However, they agreed to continue talks to arrive at a solution to one of the major vexed issue.

While both sides being in principle agreement over demilitarisation of the once world's highest battlefield, India is insisting that Pakistan should authenticate present troop position of the two sides.

At the end of the two-day Defence Secretary-level talks, the two sides issued a joint statement saying the present dialogue has "enhanced understanding" of each other's position and they have agreed to continue the discussions in a "meaningful and result-oriented manner".

The two sides, discussing the issue after a gap of three years, presented their positions and suggestions to each other towards resolution of Siachen issue, the statement said.

At the end of the meeting, Pakistani side handed over a 'non-paper' (an unofficial document) on Siachen which contained its stated position on demilitarisation and other
related issues.

The Indian side said it would "study" it and discuss with Pakistan when the both sides meet next time.

Sources said the mention of non-paper was made in the joint statement following Pakistan's request.

"Both Sides welcomed the ongoing dialogue process. The discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere,.." the joint statement said.

"They (the delegations from the two sides) also acknowledged that the ceasefire was holding since November 2003. Both sides presented their positions and suggestions towards resolution of Siachen (issue)," it said.

The Indian delegation was led by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar while Lieutenant General (retd) Syed Athar Ali represented the Pakistani government.

The Defence Secretaries agreed to meet again at a mutually convenient date in Islamabad.

The decision to resume the talks between the two countries was taken last year during the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in Thimpu when they decided to take forward the dialogue process.

Siachen, the world's highest militarised zone, has been a long-pending issue between India and Pakistan because of differences on the location of the 110-km long Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) which passes through the Soltoro Ridge and Siachen glacier.

In the Siachen area, the Indian Army has advantageous positions in comparison to Pakistan.

While India wants Pakistan to authenticate the AGPL both on the maps as well as on the ground, the latter insists on maintaining the pre-1972 troop position as agreed in the Simla Agreement.

On its part, Pakistan has been asking for demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier and raised the issue of climate change there due to presence of troops from both sides and its effects on the environment.

JPN/Agencies