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ONCE again hopes for progress on India-Pakistan ties have diminished and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s pledge to boost relations with India has run into difficulties. The recent killings of Indian soldiers along the Line of Control in Kashmir and the consequent anti-Pakistan protest in New Delhi have cast a shadow over possible talks between the two countries on the sidelines of the General Assembly session next month. In fact, the ‘peace process’ is not really there; India cannot put aside the 2008 Mumbai attacks and Pakistan has failed to rein in the militants. The latter are well-armed and well-funded and some of them have brought the two nuclear-armed neighbours to the verge of war twice since 9/11. Here lies the test for the two sides: will Islamabad and New Delhi hand the militants a diplomatic win by shying away from peace? On this point the two sides must be clear.

Meanwhile, the charged New Delhi crowd consis-ting largely of supporters of the Congress party that tried to storm the Pakistan High Commission on Wednesday did no service to the cause of India-Pakistan reconciliation. It is impossible not to come to the conclusion that the party bigwigs encouraged them. Maturity and restraint are needed at this stage and India’s defence minister would have done well to wait for a thorough inquiry into the incident before directly accusing “a specialist force in the Pakistan Army” of being involved in the killings. This has increased tensions and negated other efforts to lower temperatures such as those of the two countries’ directors of military operations who were in hotline contact after the incident. The 2003 ceasefire agreement has largely held but can be further reinforced and made durable given that there has been an increase in LoC tensions since January. And although the level of infiltration into India-held Kashmir has gone down considerably, Pakistan must make it a priority to cripple all attempts made by militants to sabotage peace efforts between the two countries.

Comments (7) Closed

An Indian Aug 09, 2013 07:31pm

Why should we be friends. Every time we have extended our hands, we have been slapped our our people killed.

I am sick and tired and just hope you stay on the other side of the border and have absolutely nothing to do with us.

If you think these things will make us back down, you are sadly mistaken because if we DID back down, you would wreak further havoc.

Sick with pain and don't want anything to do with you all.

(Dr.) B.N. Anand Aug 09, 2013 10:14pm

Sir, it is indeed a very difficult situation for the civilian govt. in Pakistan to ensure that the 2003 ceasefire agreement holds. Since the agreement was signed during Gen. Musharraf's time when he had happened to be both the ruler as well as COAS, he could ensure it and there were hardly any violations. The same may not hold true with the present civilian govt. when the now PM and the army have some old score to settle. The army surely will not clamp on the militants as strictly when they were in the driving seat. Surely, that is easy way to let down the govt. and encourage or rather be a part of the recent LOC killings. The people on this side can not be blamed in assuming that any disturbance on LOC mirrors lack of authority of the civilian govt. in the country over matter where army can play the devil's role. So it will be best before any efforts atre made to resume peace talks between two countries, the peace at LOC has to be ensured and that no infiltration has to allowed like that was the case wnen Gen. Musharraf was in power. BNA

Ahmed Aug 10, 2013 12:01am

Aman ki Aasha goes to the wind.

Bashir Mirza Aug 10, 2013 07:41pm

@An Indian: As a Pakistani...I have exactly the same feelings....Hindus have never accepted Pakistan, and harbour illwill towards Muslims in general....stay away from us, and Kashmiris will settle their score with you on their own...

Dinesh Aug 11, 2013 01:38am

@Ahmed: Aman ki Asha is nothing more than a soap opera for rich clueless people to waste money and create photo ops. Softness of heart is good, but softness of head is called stupidity.

DrTK Aug 11, 2013 10:45am

@An Indian: Why dont you all calm down and be a little less neurotic for a change? Or is it too much to expect maturity from you lot????

Shankar Aug 11, 2013 04:15pm

There will be constant attempt to sabotage the peace process between the two countries! When neighbours live in peace, terrorists will cease to have any reason to hate and so to exist! I think it will take extra-ordinary statesmanship from India to brush aside these provocations and go ahead looking for peace. Pakistan can help by condemning such acts of provocation unequivocally. As a regular reader of Dawn, I know Pakistan lacks the capacity reign in these terrorists today. I hope India sees through these games of sabotage that are being played and does not abandon the peace process. We owe this to our future generations!