SRINAGAR: While it had already been revealed that UAE Foreign Ministry played a crucial role in the India and Pakistan peace process, the new revelations suggest that Dubai actually played host to a bilateral meeting. The meeting that took place in January 2021 was attended by top intelligence officials of the two countries, a global newsgathering agency Reuters has reported.
“Officials from India’s Research and Analysis Wing, the external spy agency, and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence travelled to Dubai for a meeting facilitated by the United Arab Emirates government, two people said,” it reported from Delhi and Islamabad.
Pakistani analyst, Ayesha Siddiqa told the news gatherer that she believed Indian and Pakistan intelligence officials had been meeting for several months in third countries. “I think there have been meetings in Thailand, in Dubai, in London between the highest level people,” she was quoted saying.
However, the inputs from Delhi to the report were dismissive. “There is a lot that can still go wrong, it is fraught,” one of the people from Delhi is quoted in the report saying. “That is why nobody is talking it up in public, we don’t even have a name for this, it’s not a peace process. You can call it a re-engagement.”
Following the January meeting, the report said India and Pakistan announced they would stop cross-border shooting along the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir which has left dozens of civilians dead and many others maimed. “Both sides have also signalled plans to hold elections on their sides of Kashmir this year as part of efforts to bring normalcy to a region riven by decades of bloodshed,” the news report said. “The two have also agreed to dial down their rhetoric, the people Reuters spoke to said.”
While Pakistan will be “dropping its loud objections to Modi abrogating Kashmir’s autonomy in August 2019”, Delhi is expected to refrain from “blaming Pakistan for all violence on its side of the Line of Control”.
The report ruled out any “grand plan” to resolve the 74-year-old Kashmir dispute. Instead, both sides are trying to reduce tensions to pave the way for a broad engagement, the report added.