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Cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures between India and Pakistan: A Giant Leap or a Small Step towards Peace?

Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
Arpita Anant is Associate Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • February 12, 2010


    Summary of the Report

    • The origins of cross-LoC contacts lie in the 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan. Following a meeting between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Parvez Musharraf on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in 2004, came the Pakistani assurance that it would not allow any part of its territory in its control to be used against India. As a result, a new beginning was made by implementing Confidence-Building Measures in Kashmir.
    • This process was taken further by Dr Manmohan Singh’s speech in Amritsar on March 24, 2006 where he spoke of a joint mechanism for socio-economic cooperation between the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Cross-LoC people-to-people contact in the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad sector started in 2005 and was extended to the Poonch-Rawalakote sector in 2006. Cross-LoC trade in both the sectors commenced on October 21, 2008. These contacts have opened up immense possibilities for cooperation between the two sides of Kashmir.
    • Both India and Pakistan have taken cautious steps and would like to move on the path of cooperation gradually. Once this process is strengthened, perhaps more joint ventures can be envisaged between the two sides of Kashmir.
    • The process has helped in reducing the trust deficit that has existed between India and Pakistan at one level, and between the Government of India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir at the other.
    • The trade basket needs to be expanded and there is a need to introduce banking facilities. Businessmen involved in this trade exercise should be provided with the opportunity to have frequent meetings. Issuance of multiple-entry business visas will be of help in this regard.
    • Cross-LoC people-to-people contact is an important step in bringing the divided families closer and generates tremendous goodwill towards the state and central governments. The visa process needs to be simplified and the time taken to issue the travel permit needs to be reduced so that the goodwill generated by such initiatives is not squandered away.
    • Cross-LoC contacts will go a long way in improving India-Pakistan relations. The peace dividend accruing from these initiatives is enormous.


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