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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014
'Don't deviate from the path of progress'
Sander Ruben Aarten
January 10, 2013
First Published: 00:37 IST(10/1/2013)
Last Updated: 00:38 IST(10/1/2013)

Early 2011 saw India and Pakistan renew bilateral ties. A series of confidence building measures with primary focus on bilateral trade relations were the main driving force behind this.

One of the factors that made this possible was the delinking of 'Kashmir' from renewed bilateral talks. The idea behind this was that progress in one field would create confidence to start working on progress in other fields of bilateral relations.

But the recent incidents in which one Pakistani and two Indian soldiers died could be a confidence-breaking measure. Skirmishes along the LoC happen regularly, but the reason this incident stands out, is the fact that it involves an infringement of territory.

The incident demonstrates the challenges of this delinking strategy. Kashmir is a symbol of the life-long enmity between India and Pakistan. Whatever happens in Kashmir is likely to affect policy making in other areas. In addition, it once again shows how deep-rooted Kashmir and the Indo-Pak rivalry are in both societies.

It is up to Islamabad and New Delhi to keep their cool and not make the issue bigger than it is. As long as 'Kashmir' is not solved, border skirmishes and incidents like these will occur.

Cross-border infiltrations of soldiers from both armies cannot be justified and the death of those three soldiers should be condemned in the strongest terms possible - but not more than that.

The writer is an Intern at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi


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