Ceasefire Could Mark Beginning Of Wider Engagement Between India And Pakistan, Reports  

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SRINAGAR: The ceasefire that India and Pakistan announced last month could be a prelude to wider engagements in the coming days, a strategic affairs expert has reported.

“Pakistan has conveyed to India that the February 25 renewal of the 2003 ceasefire along the Line of Control can lead to a wider engagement only if and when Delhi restores statehood to Jammu & Kashmir as a “starting point” for a discussion on the resolution of the Kashmir issue,” Nirupama Subramanian has written in The Indian Express. She has served Pakistan on a reporting assignment earlier.

The newspaper has also learnt that the joint statement issued by the Directors General of Military Operations neither reflects “any change in the Pakistani position that Kashmir” nor” in no way implies the acceptance of the Indian “narrative” of a “deal” on Kashmir.”

The sources in Pakistan have told the writer that “for any wider engagement, India must create an “enabling environment” by restoring statehood to J&K”. This, they said, would then facilitate “a conversation” that would include “Kashmiri voices front and centre” on the way forward and open up space potentially for discussions on other bilateral issues.

For its part, the report said, “Delhi has signalled that if the ceasefire holds and no terrorist incidents occur that could be traced back to Pakistan, wider normalisation of ties could follow”.

The report quoted sources in Pakistan saying that the ceasefire was being “talked about publicly” for nearly two years. “It had been on the table, and for “whatever reasons”, India was reluctant all this time, and for “whatever reasons”, it had agreed now, the sources in Pakistan said,” it added. It said the political executive and the army was on board when the announcement was made last month.

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