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SHOULD INDIA PURSUE DIALOGUE WITH PAKISTAN?

ECLECTIC
PRESENTATION BY ABHIK BHAVYA HINA

India and Pakistan , two South Asian countries, were aboriginally once one country. After being by Aryans , Persians, Mughals and later by Britishers, they were divided into two different countries , they were partitioned on religious basis , Pakistan with Muslim majority and India with Hindu majority. Since the partition, their relation sored and is still soring

INDO-PAK RELATIONS
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues, since Independence in 1947. The following are some events: Dispute in the violent partition of British India in 1947.

1. Junagadh Dispute: Junagadh was a state on the southwestern end of Gujarat, with the principalities of Manavadar, Mangrol and Babriawad. The ruler of this state, Nawab Mahabat Khan acceded to Pakistan on 15th Aug, 1947, which was confirmed and accepted by Pakistan on 15th Sep, 1947. India didnt accept it as legitimate, thus raising debates, but the debate wasnt resolved amicably. India occupied it on 9th Nov, 1947.
2. Kashmir Dispute: At the time of partition of India, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the state, preferred to remain independent. He, thus, offered a standstill agreement to both India and Pakistan, which was refused by India. In spite of the agreement, Pakistan sent troops to capture Kashmir. Maharaja fearing the accession of his state to Pakistan, asked help from India to send troops. The acting Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, advised Maharaja to accede to India, before India could send troops. Maharaja considered the emergent situation signed the Instrument of Accession to the Union of India on 26th Oct, 1947, hence became a part of India as per the Indian Independence Act 1947 passed by the British parliament.

INDO PAKISTANI WAR OF 1965: The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 started following Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a UN mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration. INDO PAKISTANI WAR OF 1971 AND BANGLADESH LIBERATION WAR: Pakistan, since independence, was geo-politically divided into two major regions, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. East Pakistan was occupied mostly by Bengali people. In December 1971, following a political crisis in East Pakistan, the situation soon spiraled out of control in East Pakistan and India intervened in favor of the rebelling Bengali populace. The conflict, a brief but bloody war, resulted in an independence of East Pakistan. In the war, the Pakistani army swiftly fell to India, forcing the independence of East Pakistan, which separated and became Bangladesh. KARGIL WAR: During the winter months of 1998-99, the Indian army vacated its posts at very high peaks in Kargil sector in Kashmir as it used to do every year. Pakistani Army intruded across the line of control and occupied the posts. Indian army discovered this in May 1999 when the snow thawed. This resulted in intense fighting between Indian and Pakistani forces, known as the Kargil conflict. Backed by the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army regained some of the posts that Pakistan has occupied. Pakistan later withdrew from the remaining portion under international pressure.

SIACHEN GLACIER DISPUTE: Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region. US and Pakistani maps in the 1970's and 1980's were consistently showing a dotted line from NJ9842 to Karakoram Pass which India believed to be a cartographic error and violation of Shimla Agreement. In 1984, India launched a successful military operation and has since maintained control over all of the Siachen Glacier and its tributaries. India has categorically stated that India will not pull its army from Siachen until the 110-km long AGPL is first authenticated, delineated and then demarcated, as the 1949 Karachi agreement clearly stated that Cease fire-line(CFL) would continue beyond Point NJ9842, thence north to the glaciers.

KORI CREEK DISPUTE: The Sir Creek is a 96 km (60 mi) strip of water disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshlands. Though the creek has little military value, it holds immense economic gain. Much of the region is rich in oil and gas below the sea bed, and control over the creek would have a huge bearing on the energy potential of each nation. WATER DISPUTES: The Indus Waters Treaty governs the rivers that flow from India into Pakistan. Water is cited as one possible cause for a conflict between the two nations, but to date issues such as the Nimoo Bazgo Project have been resolved through diplomacy.
INSURGENT ACTIVITIES: Attack on Parliament, Hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 etc.

NEED FOR DIALOGUE PROCESS

There is a need for a peace process for settling all the disputes prevailing between India and Pakistan.

EFFORTS MADE TO NORMALIZE INDO-PAK RELATIONS


KARACHI AGREEMENT: The Karachi Agreement was a cease-fire agreement signed by Military Representatives of India and Pakistan on the 27th of July 1949. The signatories to the Karachi agreement were Satyawant Mallannah Shrinagesh, Indian Army Chief, J. Cawthorn, Major General, Pakistan & Hernando Samper and M. Delvoie, United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. SIMLA AGREEMENT: The Simla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India on July 2, 1972 in Simla. The agreement was ratified by the Parliaments of both the nations in same year. The agreement was the result of resolve of both the countries to "put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations". It conceived the steps to be taken for further normalization of mutual relations and it also laid down the principles that should govern their future relations.

1999 LAHORE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING was the first Indo-Pakistani effort to come to grips with their mutual problems and to explore measures to reduce tensions in a nuclearised South Asia.

COMPOSITE DIALOGUE PROCESS


1999 Lahore Memorandum of Understanding was the first step towards a sustained dialogue process.
But, Pakistan attacks India in Kargil in 1999, severely affected the dialogue process progress. The Agra Summit, July 2001 was also a diplomatic disaster, as General Kayani was stepping up terrorist activities against India.

In December 2001 Indias parliament was attacked by Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorists, which lead to deployment of troops on both sides of the border.
In 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. Finally, on January 4, 2004, India and Pakistan agreed to resume the stalled Composite Dialogue Process consequent to a categorical assurance from President Pervez Musharraf to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, that he would not allow territory under Pakistans control to be used for terrorism in India.

OBJECTIVES OF COMPOSITE DIALOGUE PROCESS


Hold discussions on the modalities for restoring trust and confidence in order to pave the way for a comprehensive, sustained and meaningful dialogue on all issues of mutual interest and concern.

Good neighborly relations marked by normal trade, people to people contacts, greater sporting and cultural interactions, hassle-free travel and a confidence-building mechanism.

ACHIEVEMENTS IN DIALOGUE PROCESS


The Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan from 2004 to 2008 addressed a number of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) related to peace and security; enhanced people to people contacts through bus and train services; revival of the Bilateral Joint Commission after 16 years; setting up of the Judicial Committee to look into the humanitarian issue of civilian prisoners/fishermen held in each others jails and growth in bilateral trade by 550% between year 2003-04 and 2007-08 from US$ 344.59 million to US$ 2.23 billion. As a result of their meeting in April 2010 in Thimphu on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit, PM and PM Gilani of Pakistan mandated the two Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to hold discussions. Foreign Secretary met her Pakistani counterpart in Islamabad in June 2010, and External Affairs Minister visited Islamabad in July 2010. Foreign Secretaries met in Thimphu on February 6, 2011 agreed to discuss CounterTerrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial) and Narcotics Control; Humanitarian issues; Commercial & Economic cooperation; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; Sir Creek; Siachen; Peace & Security including CBMs; Jammu & Kashmir; promotion of friendly exchanges.

The two Prime Ministers met informally at Mohali on March 30, 2011, to witness the semi-final cricket match between India and Pakistan during the Cricket World Cup, 2011.
The meeting of External Affairs Minister and Foreign Minister Khar in New Delhi on 27th July 2011, preceded by the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries on 24th June 2011 in Islamabad, marked the culmination of the first round of the resumed dialogue. They also decided to revive the Joint Commission and agreed on strengthening Cross-LoC CBMs. During the meeting of PM with PM Gilani in November 2011, which took place on the sidelines of the 17th SAARC summit in Maldives, the leaders decided to continue the resumed dialogue with the aim to build a mutually cooperative and productive relationship between the two countries, keeping in mind that there is the need for an environment free from hostility and violence. PM invited President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari in New Delhi on April 8, 2012 when the President undertook a private visit to the sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer. The meeting on bilateral issues was constructive and friendly and were willing to find practical and pragmatic solutions to all outstanding issues. President Zardari invited PM to visit Pakistan. PM accepted the invitation with pleasure and said that he would be happy to visit at an appropriate time.

In the second round of the resumed dialogue, Secretary, Water of Government of India and Secretary, Water and Power of Government of Pakistan met in New Delhi on March 27-28, 2012 to discuss Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project. Home Secretary level talks were held on Counter-Terrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial), Narcotics Control and Humanitarian issues in Islamabad (May 24-25, 2012). Commerce Secretaries discussed commercial & economic cooperation on November 14-16, 2011 in New Delhi, apart from meeting as part of Ministerial interaction in September 2011 in New Delhi, February 2012 in Islamabad and April 2012 in New Delhi. Defence Secretary level talks on Siachen were held in Rawalpindi on June 11-12, 2012. Surveyor General of India and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defense Pakistan held talks on Sir Creek in New Delhi on June 1819, 2012. Foreign Secretary level talks were held in New Delhi on July 4-5, 2012 on Peace & Security, including CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, and promotion of friendly exchanges. Expert Level talks on Conventional and Nuclear CBMs were held in Islamabad in December 2011. The Joint Working Group on Cross-LoC CBMs met in Islamabad on July 19, 2012. External Affairs Minister and Foreign Minister Khar will meet in Islamabad in September 2012 to review the second round of the resumed dialogue.

CHALLENGES
A solution oriented dialogue on the contentious issues is a challenging task because of the long history of the troubled relations and mutual distrust that hampers positive interaction. Terrorism remains our core concern in the relationship with Pakistan and has been repeatedly raised with Pakistan, including at the highest level, whereby India has consistently urged Pakistan to fulfill its repeated assurance given to us not to allow the territory under its control to be used for supporting terrorism directed against us or for any other anti-India activity.

The conflict in Afghanistan has also had spill-over effects on Indo-Pakistani relations. The strategic partnership agreement between India and Afghanistan and the growing Indian presence in that country, have only added to Pakistans concerns that India is attempting to squeeze it from both the east and west.
Australias decision to sell uranium to India is seen in Pakistan as being detrimental to its national security interests; just as the US-India nuclear deal was viewed as discriminatory and harmful to its security.

There are groups and political parties in both countries that pursue hostility towards the other country as a matter of political ideology. These are religious hardliners and the political far-right groups and individuals that are ideologically opposed to normalization of relations and flourish on preaching hostility, if not hatred against the other side.

WAYS TO BUILD INDO-PAK RELATIONS


A two-step approach is needed to de-socialize negativeness among the people and socialize them towards viewing each other in a positive manner and supporting a dialogue on the contentious issues. First, the top level state leaders who are responsible for making the final decision decide that negative attitude and conflict is to be downplayed and efforts are to be made earnestly to find ways and means to improve their relations. Second, there is a need to improve non-official interaction in order to remove the biases that are generated because of limited or no contact. The free and frequent interaction between different segments of the society will build support for problem solving between the two countries. The visits of sports teams, especially Cricket teams, literature and creative arts including film artists and music groups, media, youths and students and non-governmental organization's will be very useful for generating good will at the societal level.

There is a need to embrace an overarching strategic stability regime and to shun aggressive security doctrines to reduce the possibility of a nuclear conflict. Water issues should be resolved through the mechanisms provided by the Indus Basin Treaty and should not be allowed to degenerate into a serious source of conflict. Confidence-building measures should be pursued to alleviate the trust deficit but should not be used as a substitute for the resolution of disputes. Economic co-operation and trade should be facilitated to develop mutuality of interest. India and Pakistan need to understand each others legitimate interests in Afghanistan and pursue them without coming into conflict with each other.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
On November 2, 2011, Pakistan's Federal Cabinet granted the status of the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India. However, a day later the spokesman of Pakistan Foreign Office somewhat back-tracked by suggesting that the Federal Cabinet had agreed in principle to designate India as a MFN as a part of the process to normalise relations with India. In order to facilitate travel between the two countries, different train and bus services run between the two countries. The train services in operation between India and Pakistan are (i) Samjhauta Express (biweekly, with termini in Lahore and Delhi); Attari-Wagah rail route is also open for movement of freight trains; and (ii) weekly Thar Express from Munabao-India to Zero Point Railway Station near Khokrapar Pakistan. Bus services run between India and Pakistan on the following routes: DelhiLahore (all days except Sunday), Amritsar-Lahore (twice a week) and Amritsar-Nanankana (twice a week).

In order to enable people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir to move freely and trade with one another, cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) have been put in place and are being strengthened. These include trade and travel on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes across the LoC. The number of trading days across these two points was increased from two to four per week, in accordance with the decision taken by External Affairs Minister and Foreign Minister Khar in their meeting in July 2011 in New Delhi. On April 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of India granted bail to Dr Khalil Chisti an octogenarian Pakistan national serving sentence on murder charges in India, and later allowed him to travel to Pakistan on certain conditions. An Indian prisoner, Sarabjit Singh, awaits disposal of his mercy petition to the President of Pakistan. A new integrated Check Post at Attari-Wagah border as well as a new gate for trade at Wagah was inaugurated on April 13, 2012. Though trade and economic relations dominated the dialogue process initiated in March 2011, there were several diplomatic visits that facilitated trade related talks but also contributed to the overall improvement of relations.

CONCLUSION

Thus, the way forward for both the countries would be to hold a comprehensive, sustained dialogue process for the economic development, socio cultural relation, peace and stability, boost of trading relations and many more. In course of history, both countries must have learnt that war creates an extra economic burden on a nation, which in turn, directly hampers the people of these countries. So, they need to understand the challenges in building a mutual trust and confidence, through a sustained dialogue process.

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