Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Importance of Indo-Pak CBMs

The cynics are not too pleased with it.

Analysts feel that the crucial India, Pakistan talks that began in 2004, hardly made any headway.

And as regards the Kashmir issue, there are hardly any "tangible achievements" to show.

But at least, as Pakistan leading daily Dawn in its editorial puts it, "…In the last two years, New Delhi and Islamabad have stopped brandishing the sword and threatening to wage a war against each other."

The paper says that the confidence building measures (CBMs) are important not only for India and Pakistan, but also for peace and security in the entire South Asian region.

"The confidence building measures…would preempt a future crisis from erupting. If relations remain at an even keel, it is unlikely that India and Pakistan equations will be thrown out of gear in the near future. This is important for peace and security in South Asia," the Dawn reports.

The ensuing round of talks today hold significance, as it would be the first high-level contact (between the two countries) this year that would be held immediately after a visit of an All Party Hurriyat Conference team to Pakistan.

Vital issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues related to peace and security between the two countries, would be discussed during the talks with the Indian officials.

Stressing on the need for regular CBMs between the neighbours, Dawn says, "Given the high level of militarisation in the region…it is vital that India and Pakistan should not be locked in confrontation with one another. Tension and polarisation will make the region a tinderbox…"

As regards the issue of Kashmir, the paper further says, "…There might be no tangible achievements to show in respect of the Kashmir issue that is central to the relationship between the two countries, it is a matter of some significance that India and Pakistan are at least now talking about the dispute and exploring various options.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had recently suggested its neighbour to pull out troops from three districts of Kashmir -- Srinagar, Kupwara and Baramulla - in exchange for Pak's help to root out terror.

An editorial in Kashmir Observer says, "The two countries should deliberate the proposal of demilitarisation and self-rule more earnestly with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue.

New Delhi, however, rejected the proposal.

The media in Islamabad, however, says that it may take a while to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue.
Meanwhile, a section of the Pakistani press also reported that the Balochistan issue would also figure during the talks, with a special focus on the allegations that India had a hand in the recent insurgency activities in the area.


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