Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Pakistan Military, General Ehsan ul Haq has said that India and Pakistan need to prioritise enforcing ceasefire along the LoC and reduce violence inside Kashmir.
“If there is continuous violence inside Kashmir, we will be unable to avail the opportunity to move towards long-term peace. We have to revive, expand and reinforce confidence-building measures (CBMs) that came about in the last 10-15 years or so. Once allowed, these CBMs will create an environment to reach a mid-term/long term solution. There are many such formulas, including the Musharraf-Vajpayee-Manmohan Singh one,” the general said in an interview to DNA.
The general who also served as the chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the premier Pakistan intelligence agency, between October 2001 and 2004, said: “There are elements of this formula that are relevant and there are other formulas as well. Now, we need to put these together and evolve a lasting formula. But the basic need is to identify stake holders. You must make sure that everyone is heard. In the Musharraf-Vajpayee-Manmohan formula, Kashmiris struggled to be part of the process. To avoid recurrence of this outcome, there must be a dialogue between Delhi and Srinagar and Kashmir, Pakistan and India, and also an intra-Jammu and Kashmir dialogue.”
To a question that while infiltrations continue to occur and the trade of arms keeps the Kashmir cauldron boiling, peace cannot to take root, the general said that is the Indian viewpoint, but is not the situation. “The kind of cross-border infiltrations that took place in the 90s and early 2000s don’t occur anymore. Your argument may be used by India as a pretext to push aggressive policies, but it is not an excuse anymore. The reality is that the situation along the LoC can be controlled,” the general said.