Consultar ensayos de calidad

India and Pakistan - Nuclear States in Conflict Background

TIMELINE-Flashpoints and flare-ups in India-Pakistan ties 25 Feb 2010 05:41:38 GMT Source: Reuters | E-mail this Page |
Printer Friendly |

Feb 25 (Reuters) - The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi on Thursday, marking the resumption of official contacts which India broke off after militants attacked Mumbai in late 2008. [ID:nLDE61M1JU] Following are some of the highs and lows in relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours: 1947 - Britain divides its Indian empire into secular but mainly Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, triggering one of the greatest and bloodiest migrations of modern history. 1947/48 - India and Pakistan go to war over Kashmir. The war ends with a U.N.-ordered ceasefire and resolution seeking a plebiscite for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether to become part of India or Pakistan. 1965 - India and Pakistan fight their second war over Kashmir. Fighting ends after United Nations calls for ceasefire. 1971 - Pakistan and India go to war a third time, this time over East Pakistan, which becomes independent Bangladesh. 1972 - Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sign agreement in Indian town of Simla to lay principles meant to govern relations.1974 - India detonates its first nuclear device. 1989 - Separatist revolt starts in Indian Kashmir. India accuses Pakistan of arming and sending Islamist militants into Indian Kashmir, which Pakistan denies. 1998 - India carries out nucleartests. Pakistan carries out its own tests in response. Feb. 1999 - Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee holds summit with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Lahore. 1999 - India and Pakistan fight a brief but intense conflict in the mountains above Kargil on the Line of Control, the ceasefire line dividing the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir. July 2001 - Summit between Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf and Vajpayee in Agra in India ends in failure. Dec. 2001 - Militants attack Indian parliament. India blames Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Close to one million troops are mobilised on either side of the border; war only averted months later in June 2002. 2003 - Pakistan and India agree a ceasefire on the Line of Control. 2004 - The two countries launch a formal peace process. July 2008 - India blames Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency for a bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul. Nov. 2008 - Ten gunmen launch multiple attacks in Mumbai, killing 166 people. India blames Pakistan-based militants and breaks off talks with Pakistan. Feb. 2009 - India cautiously welcomes Pakistan's investigation into the Mumbai attack. Pakistan admit,s for the first time, that the attack was launched and partly planned from Pakistan. March 2009 - India's home minister says Pakistan is threatening to become a failed state and it was not clear who was in control of the country. May 2009 - India's new coalition government says it is up to Pakistan to takethe first step towards better ties by cracking down on militants on its soil. June 2009 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Russia. Singh tells Zardari he wants him to ensure militants can not operate from Pakistan. July 2009 - India and Pakistan agree to work together to fight terrorism and order their top diplomats to meet as often as needed. But Prime Minister Singh, after talks with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani in Egypt, rules out a resumption of formal peace talks, known as the 'composite dialogue', that Islamabad had been seeking. Aug. 2009 - India gives Pakistan a new dossier of evidence to investigate the Mumbai attacks and prosecute Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the suspected mastermind of the three-day carnage. Jan. 2010 - Pakistani and Indian forces exchange fire across their border, the latest in a series of incidents raising tension between the two. Feb. 2010 - India offers new talks with Pakistan. The talks will be held at top diplomatic level of the two countries. Feb. 13 - A bomb in a bakery in the western Indian city of Pune kills 13 people. An Indian government official later says the foreign secretary talks would go on as scheduled. (Compiled by Zeeshan Haider; Additional writing and editing by David Cutler; Editing by Michael Roddy, London Editorial Reference Unit) |

India and Pakistan - Nuclear States in Conflict Background
When the British withdrew from the Indiansubcontinent after the second world war, it was divided, primarily on religious grounds, into the two states of India and Pakistan. At that time Kashmir was included in India, but the issue of which state it should belong to has been contested ever since, largely because Kashmir's population is predominantly Muslim. In 1947 a United Nations resolution called for a referendum in Kashmir to settle the issue on the basis of what the people wanted. It was, however never carried out and it is generally assumed | E-mail this Page |
that the reason for this is because the Indian government feared the popular vote would support unification with Pakistan on religious grounds. Many in Kashmir campaign for independence, a position that neither India nor Pakistan supports. Around 30,000 people have died in Kashmir in the last 11 years. What happens in Kashmir is at the heart of the continuing tension between India and Pakistan. The possibility of the world's first direct war between two nuclear-armed states occurring is very real. The history of the conflict over Kashmir is well documented with three India/Pakistan wars taking place since 1947. But this time it would be with both sides having access to nuclear weapons. Since the attack on the Indian Parliament building in December 2001, the tension and rhetoric have grown considerably. India accused Pakistan of supporting terrorist groups. Pakistan,in turn, pledges its support for Kashmiri freedom fighters. One state's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. Since the attack in December, Pakistan has arrested around 1500 'militants' and banned five groups, two said to be sectarian, one pro-Taliban and two who have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. However, Gen Musharraf has pledged continued support for Kashmir. Many people living along the border close to Kashmir have fled the area due to the large military presence being built up by both sides. From the end of 2001 there were clashes virtually every night in that border region, with sometimes one or two people being shot. There are claims that large numbers of military silos have been destroyed. In an atmosphere of increased tension and sabre-rattling rhetoric on both sides, this led to the situation in May 2002 where upwards of a million troops were gathered near the border. Any mistake or small incident runs the risk of setting off something far, far worse. Nuclear numbers

Estimates on actual warhead numbers vary wildly with reports that India has anywhere between 50-150 warheads and Pakistan 10-100. There is a bit more clarity, however, regarding the missile systems that would deliver them. India:
Agni (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile), nuclear capable and tested.
Range: 1,500 miles.
Could reach Karachi in about 14 minutes.

Prithvi (Surface to Surface Missile), nuclear capable and deployed.
Range: 90-220 miles.
Could reach Islamabad or Lahore within three minutes. Trishul(Surface to Surface Missile), nuclear capable.
Range: 6 miles. Pakistan:
Ghauri (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile), nuclear capable in production.
Range: 930 miles
Could reach Bombay in 10 minutes. One medium-range and one short-range missile, both nuclear capable, were tested in May 2002. The current situation
All this, of course, is fuelled by the continuing rhetoric on both sides. Officials in both countries claimed that they would not use nuclear weapons first, but they seem remarkably keen to use them second. Given the proximity of the two states, it is clear that millions of their own people would die along with millions of their nearest neighbours. India has said that it would not use nuclear weapons first, while Pakistan has clearly stated that it would. Whilst a 'no first use' policy is an important step towards disarmament, it is all too often used as an excuse to build a large 'second use' capacity. Eventually, of course, the 'second use' becomes indistinguishable from the 'first use'. As the tension mounts, the temptation grows to get your retaliation in first. But what are the immediate reasons for the current increasing tension and the risk of war? India appears to be escalating events but its argument is that it is following the lead of the US and the west by zero tolerance of terrorist attacks. It has identified what it sees as terrorists being harboured by another state so it threatens military retaliation. Both sides have had internal problems as well. In Pakistan, Musharrafhas been promising a democratic election ever since the army took control, but there has been only a referendum. Though it was boycotted by many political parties, Musharraf claimed it as a mandate for him to continue. Meanwhile in India, the ruling BJP has lost every state election for over a year, so now uses the well-known tactic of uniting the country against an outside 'threat'. Whatever the reasons for the tensions, the crucial aim is to avoid the devastation of nuclear war. The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, visited the region in January 2002 to try to persuade both sides that a war was not a good idea. This took place against the background of the bombing in Afghanistan, in which Britain was an enthusiastic participant. His approach raised concerns about Western hypocrisy, as if war is fine for some countries but not others. The sincerity of Blair's mission was also in question after it transpired that his plea for peace preceded two British trade missions to Delhi in February, both designed to sell weapons to India. Defexpo is an arms fair whose promotional material pushes the weaponry on sale, with everything from small arms to missile systems. India and Pakistan have long been valuable markets for British arms manufacturers. So this arms fair, combined with the resumption of arms sales to Pakistan, as a result of its support for the war in Afghanistan, means that Britain will be arming both sides in any future war. This is, of course, not unique. A similar thing happened during the Iraq-Iranwar. So, what's the answer? The situation in south Asia shows the importance of nuclear disarmament. A war even with conventional weapons would be an appalling waste of life. But this would be turned into a complete disaster on an unimaginable scale if nuclear weapons were used. In the short term there must be more diplomatic language and there must be proper international negotiations at the UN to resolve the problem of Kashmir. Our own politicians could do more to help. How can the British Government's attempts to calm the situation be taken seriously when the Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon, appears on television saying that he would use nuclear weapons against any state if necessary? In the long term, the declared nuclear weapon states (NWS) - US, UK, France, Russia and China - must carry out their obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and get rid of their nuclear weapons. The NPT was drawn up in 1968, giving the definition of a NWS as one that tested nuclear weapons before then. Because India was preparing its nuclear programme at that time, it would not sign. Because India would not sign, neither would Pakistan. Therefore, they cannot sign the NPT as NWS and, since the nuclear testing by both sides in 1998, they cannot sign as non-nuclear weapon states. The NWS made statements at the time of the tests saying how appalled they were at this development. But after 11 September, the US lifted sanctions imposed on both sides, in order to boost its coalition in the 'War on Terrorism'. Ifthe NWS put the words of the NPT into action, they would be in a position to push India and Pakistan to sign the NPT themselves. After all, part of the excuse given by India and Pakistan for the 1998 nuclear tests was that those nuclear weapon states had done nothing about their NPT commitments, so if nuclear weapons were good enough for them Both sides need to be persuaded that nuclear weapons make the world a more dangerous, not a safer, place and to take a step back and realise that peaceful resolutions to conflict are the best way forward. This should happen through the UN. But the UN also needs to look at the continuing nuclear policies of the NWS. There are peace activists in both India and Pakistan working hard to get their views across. Their work has been particularly difficult since the nuclear tests carried out by both countries in 1998. They have the entire might of the government and military propaganda machine ranged against them. We should do all we can to support them. |

2002- Kashmir Crisis Indian troops were placed on alert after a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001. By early Jaunuary 2002 India had reportedly mobilised over 500,000 troops and its three armored divisions along the 3,000 km frontier with Pakistan. India also placed its navy and air force on 'high alert' and deployed its nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan reacted in kind, concentrating forces along the line of control that divides Kashmir. The deployment, which included troops in the states ofRajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat, was the largest since the 1971 conflict between the two rivals. Over 300,000 Pakistani troops are also mobilized. | E-mail this Page |
Printer Friendly |
According to some reports, by late May 2002 as many as 700,000 Indian Army and paramilitary forces have deployed along the Indo-Pakistani border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has reportedly deployed as many as 300,000 troops, and perhaps as much as three-fourths of the army [which would be nearly 400,000 troops], at or near the Indian border. Both Pakistan and India have placed their forces in the disputed border area on alert. India's paramilitary contingent comprises several hundred of thousand combat-ready troops, a major portion of whom were already deployed on the Line of Control. India has made a troop pull-back conditional on Islamabad halting the flow of militants into Kashmir, but this may not be evident until the summer when the snows melt and infiltration normally starts. When India did not act by the end of June, when the monsoons began, military action became more complicated through the summer. India's primary security objective is to curtail the cross-border intervention by Pakistan and Kashmiri militants. India's expected option, to avoid a wider war, consisted of limited strikes against militant camps in Kashmir. The four major militant centers which have been identified in PoK are in Zaffarwal, Samani, Kotli and Kahuta areas and are within two kilometres of theLoC. The center in Zaffarwal is run by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ultras and the Samani center is manned by Mujahideens of almost all outfits. The Kotli center is operated by the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HUJI), and the Kahuta centre jointly by the Lashkar and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants. India would probably prefer opening a limited front along the LoC, rather than a wider war. Even in event of a larger war on the international boundary, India would probably seek to break through Pakistan's defenses along the LoC to capture some additional territory in Kashmir. Although India could also seek to punish Pakistan, and holding Pakistani territory would probably not be the aim of India's offensive military operations. In the event of war, India's Air Force was postured to initially conduct air strikes at 50 to 75 militant bases and a few other targets in Kashmir. Targets could also include a bridge across the Karakoram highway connecting China to the region, and at least three others linking Pakistani Kashmir to the rest of the country. The destruction of these bridges would prevent China from replenishing Pakistan, and would also cut off supply routes from Pakistan to front-line units. India could also send troops across the high mountain passes in helicopters, though this would risk casualties as the helicopters crossed Pakistani air defenses. India's broad strategy of air strikes could induce Pakistan into extending the conflict by opening a wider front along the International Border. Pakistan indicatedthat even if India's actions were limited to air strikes in Kashmir border, Pakistan might not restrict actions to this sector. The possibility that Pakistan might open other fronts in Punjab or Rajasthan essentially meant that Pakistan was ready for a full-scale conventional war. India's army lacks the logistics infrastructure to support a massive and sustained ground movement to take and hold all of Kashmir. Although India has a numerical superiority on almost all fronts, some of their military equipment is not in servicable condition. Despite having a numerical disadvantage, Pakistan has a qualitative edge in many equipment holdings, notably tanks and anti-tank missiles. India's Air Force would face serious challenges from Pakistan. Many of India's combat aircraft are poorly maintened, and trained pilots are in short supply. Pakistan's air force is widely regarded as being better trained and equipped. The Indian Navy had a wide range of Indian navy fleet in the region, including frigates and destroyers. India reportedly deployed seven Kilo Class submarines in an offshore picket-line formation in the Arabian Sea. ChronologyFor India, the 13 December 2001 attack on Parliament by the suicide squad of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed was the last straw in a series of attacks over the previous two years. The attack, which according to Home Minister L.K. Advani was aimed at wiping out the Indian political leadership, was a declaration of war against this country. The troops deployments were massive,extending from Gujarat to Kashmir. The Indian Army received reinforcements from central and northern India to counter the Pakistani build-up which had not ebbed since their winter exercise codenamed Operation Khabardar. It commenced in October 2001, with troops from the strike corps, Mangla-based 1 corps, Karachi-based 5 corps and Bahawalpur-based 31 corps, an armoured brigade and infantry divisions, in the sensitive Jhelum-Chenab and Chenab-Ravi corridors close to the LoC. There were reports of massive Indian troop movements along the border in the Sindh-Rajasthan sector, as well as in the Chenab-Ravi corridor and along the Line of Control which divides Indian and Pakistani-ruled Kashmir. On 27 December 2001, Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes called the border situation 'grave', and said that the Indian forces deployment on the forward areas would be completed within two to three days. By 01 January 2002 the Indian Defence Ministry denied on Tuesday allegations by Pakistan that it was continuing its military buildup along their tense borders, saying that 'the mobilisation is more or less complete.' India recalled its envoy to Pakistan for the first time in 30 years. India had previously withdrawn its ambassador prior to conflict breaking out in the 1965 war over Kashmir and the 1971 war over independence for Bangladesh (previously East Pakistan). India also ended bus and train service between the two nations, as part of the strategy to increase pressure against Pakistan. Pakistan moved 7 to 9 divisions ofits army towards the Indian border. With the Pakistani Army having to cover shorter distances from its cantonments to its borders, it has the advantage of mobilising much faster than India. On 25 December 2001 Pakistan's Army canceled all leaves for its troops and told them to report for duty immediately. India was moving troops by the trainload from south and central India to the northwestern border with Pakistan. The buildup was not just in Kashmir, but also along the International Bborder [IB] dividing the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab from the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Sind. In 2000 Pakistan had unilaterally withdrawn its troops from the Line of Control under a 'maximum restraint' policy that sought to normalize relations with India. Up to 20,000 Pakistani troops, who should have withdrawn from the area following winter exercises, remained stationed near the line. Two corps of the Pakistani army were supposed withdraw from near the International Borders in Rajasthan and Punjab and the Line of Control following exercises, but they had not done so. Pakistan pushed its own troops forward, and moved the 10, 11 and 12 Corps from their Afghan frontier locations near Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta to its eastern frontier. By early January 2002 the build-up of Pakistani forces near border areas raised concerns among Indian analysts. Pakistan had stationed 150,000 troops in the Jammu-Punch belt - from Chicken Neck on the International Border [IB] to Rajauri on the Line of Control [LOC]. TheIndian army is regarded as being weak in the Chicken Neck and Pallanwala sectors. This suggested that, if war broke out, Pakistan's major thrust would be from Jammu. Pakistan's 1 Corps, in Khariyan-Mangla, Gujranwala's 30 Corps and Rawalpindi's 10 Corps had also prepared to move at short notice. The troop build-up was taken as an indication that, if there were an outbreak of hostilities, Pakistan would attack and capture the Akhnoor-Pallanwala sector. In 1965, Pakistan had captured Chhamb. In 1971 Pakistan had made advances in Jayorian, but retreated after a counter-attack by Indian forces. The Pakistani build-up along Jammu indicated that Pakistan might seek to capture Akhnoor-Pallanwalla and Jayorian, cutting off the Rajauri-Punch Highway. The 10-km stretch of the Srinagar-Kargil Highway, which is within range of Pakistani artillery, has been shelled continuously. The recent build-up may indicate that Pakistan was also considering moves against the Jammu-Punch Highway. As part of New Delhi’s efforts to maintain pressure on Islamabad, on 11 January 2002 Army Chief Gen. S. Padmanabhan warned in a rare press conference that Pakistan would be severely punished if it launch ed a nuclear attack on India. 'Let me assure you of one thing as surely as I’m alive. Should a nuclear weapon be used against India, Indian forces, our assets at sea, economic, human or other targets, the perpetrators of that outrage shall be punished so severely that their continuation thereafter in any form or fray will be doubtful,' thegeneral said. In mid-January 2002 Pakistani police arrested over 200 militants, bringing the total number of detentions to over 1,100. This was part of the crackdown against five groups banned by President Pervez Musharraf. Two of the banned groups -- the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad -- are among the most hardline Islamic militant groups fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir. On 30 January 2002 Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar termed the deployment of about half a million Indian troops along the border with Pakistan as “coercive and intimidating”. Sattar said de-escalation was possible through dialogue as was done in 1987. By early April 2002 it had become apparent that India's troop deployment along the Indo-Pakistan border would be prolonged until at least the autumn of 2002. The Indian Government had considered pulling back elements of some of its strike corps from the border by May end or early June, given an anticipation that by that time, trends in cross-border infiltration would become clear. On 26 April 2002, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf accused India of 'offensive deployment' of troops, and ruled out the possibility of unilateral withdrawal of troops from Indo-Pak border. The tension between the two countries heightened after militant attack on an army family accommodation camp in Kalu Chak [Kaluchak] on 14 May 2002. Three militants arrived by bus, and after opening fire on the bus passengers, they entered the lightly-guarded camp. The militants turned their guns on thefamily quarters of soldiers. The terrorists systematically fired at the families of Army personnel. Eight women and 11 children died of gunshot wounds. Most of the 25 injured persons were women and children. The gunmen were killed in an intense battle with soldiers that followed. The attack was the worst in Kashmir in the previous eight months. On 19 May 2002 the Indian Army centralized command of the paramilitary forces, including the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). These paramilitary forces, especially the BSF, are deployed along the International Border (IB), including parts of the Jammu sector, close to the Chenab river. The Army and not the paramilitary forces, in most cases, face Pakistani forces along the Line of Control (LOC) which stretches along most of the rest of Jammu and Kashmir. On 19 May 2002 the Coast Guard was placed under the operational control of the Indian Navy. In consequence of rising tensions between India and Pakistan, Indian merchant ships were placed 'on alert' and directed to file daily location reports as well as to file voyage plans with the Mumbai based Maritime Administration for passing to the Navy. By taking command of the Coast Guard, the Navy sought to safeguard the coastal areas that straddle high value industrial complexes along the west coast. On 21 May 2002 India redeployed troops from Gujarat state, the site of prolonged sectarian violence, to the India-Pakistan border, where the two nations traded artillery fire for a fifthconsecutive day. On 22 May 2002 the Indian Prime Minister said that India needed to be ready for sacrifices, but this will be a fight to victory. He said that the time for a 'decisive fight' had come. By 26 May 2002 India had detached additional naval warships from its eastern fleet home base in Vishakapatnam, into the Arabian Sea closer to Pakistan. Among the warships of India's Western Fleet which deployed in the Arabian Sea was the aircraft carrier 'INS Viraat' with Sea Harrier jets. The Indian Navy moved five front-line warships of the Eastern Naval Command to join the Western Naval Fleet. The warships moved to the western coast include a 'Kashin' class missile destroyer, a a Leander class multi-purpose frigate and three missile corvettes. The Indian objective was to have total control of the sea and deny movement to Pakistani ships and submarines. As of late May 2002 it appeared that eight out of nine strike divisions of the Indian Army had moved to 'jumping off points' near the border. The 21st Strike Force (mainly comprised the 33rd Armored Division) had advanced towards Akhnur in the Jammu region, assuming a forward command post. This strike force was supplemented by two more mechanized infantry brigades and self-propelled artillery units from Meerut and Mathra. The three Corps in Kashmir were augmented with additional armoured and infantry brigades to enable the Indian troops in the region to move forward from a defensive posture to major offensive. These forces include 16th Corps at Nagrauta, Jammu,15th Corps at Badami Bagh, Srinagar and 14th Corps at Nimmud, Leh. In response to India deployment, Pakistan, in addition to engaging nine divisions in a holding formation, moved an attack-force of armored and motorized infantry divisions into combat readiness positions. The two infantry divisions based in Baluchistan and the NWFP North-West Frontier Province also moved towards the eastern borders. Pakistan reinforced the Uri Sector by deploying two brigades of 10-Corps (Rawalpindi). Four brigades of the 31-Corps (Bahawalpur) moved into forward positions along the Bahawalpur-Fort Abbas stretch in Punjab and Rajasthan sectors. An independent Armoured Brigade moved forward to support the local infantry in the Old Beas Area. Further south, five brigades of 5-Corps (Karachi) moved up to the border stretch south of Fort Abbas to Gadra Road and Darwaza and in the border region adjacent to Jaisalmer, Bikaneer and Barnar forward areas. Pakistan's formations include North and South Army Reserves, including 1-Corps (Mangla) with significant armored element. On 05 June 2002 the United States and Britain upgraded official warnings to their citizens in India and Pakistan, telling people to leave now. The raising of the status of travel alerts came after Pakistan rejected an offer from India for joint border patrols in the disputed territory of Kashmir. The US State Department issued new advice to the 60,000 Americans in India and several thousand in Pakistan, saying: 'Tensions have risen to serious levels and the risk ofintensified military hostilities between India and Pakistan cannot be ruled out.' The updated travel warning said it 'strongly urges that American citizens in India depart the country'. Previous advice to Americans merely 'urged' them to leave. In early June 2002 Pakistan agreed to immediately halt infiltration along the Line of Control, and eventually to dismantle Kashmiri militant training camps. Indian officials lifted a ban on overflights by Pakistani aircraft, pulled back warships from the Pakistani coast and selected a new ambassador to Islamabad. India awaited further steps by Pakistan, including the dismantling of militant training camps in the portion of Kashmir under Pakistani control and the severing of financial support for militant groups. By 05 June 2002, despite the stand-off between India and Pakistan at Almaty and Defence Minister George Fernandes’ assertion of non-withdrawal of forces from borders, there were indications that India may start the process of de-escalation at the international border any day after June 15 in the wake of “positive signals” from Pakistan. The de-escalation may begin from Kutch, Rajasthan and Punjab but army deployment would continue along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad was believed to have taken steps to close down some militant training camps in Kashmir. Intercepts by Indian intelligence agencies reportedly indicated that Pakistan instructed its Tenth Corps to stop infiltration across the LoC. On June 26, 2002, the US State Departmentnoted that the very high level of tension between India and Pakistan that had existed at the end of May and the beginning of June had subsided somewhat. This condition followed intense diplomatic activity and important steps taken by both India and Pakistan to reduce tension. Nonetheless, military mobilization by the two countries remained in place along the Line of Control and the international boundary with the risk of renewed high levels of tension impossible to rule out. The six-month standoff between India and Pakistan, which brought the two nuclear neighbours to the brink of war, had eased. But the return of peace was months away, pending Pakistan's putting an end to sponsoring cross-border terrorism, and the October polls in Jammu and Kashmir. As of late August 2002 Indian officials insisted that infiltration by Pakistani-backed militants had declined but not ended. India will not engage in a dialogue with Pakistan over the future of Kashmir until cross-border terrorism stops. Indian troops remained in place to reduce violence in Kashmir. India has stated that it will not demobilize its troops prior to the 14 October 2002 election in Kashmir. Until both nations pull back their troops, the danger of a massive war remains. On 09 September 2002 Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said that although the infiltrations declined in June, they had 'gone up very, very significantly in the month of August.' On 16 October 2002 the Indian government announced that it would pull back troops from itsborder with Pakistan in its most substantial step to reduce a military buildup begun 10 months ago that helped bring the two nations to the brink of war. The pullback, expected to cover anywhere from 500,000 to 700,000 troops, will not affect troops stationed along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir continued to oscillate. As of May 2003 both governments expressed willingness to talk, and both re-established formal diplomatic relations. No time-line for the talks was established, the conciliatory moves from both countries was due to pressure from the international community. Specifically, pressure exerted by the US, Britain, and Russia. On 25 November 2003 India and Pakistan agreed on a comprehensive ceasefire, coinciding with the start of the Eid festival which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. This is the first formal truce between the two armies since the outbreak of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir five years earlier. On 18 December 2003 Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, said his country was willing to drop its long-standing demands for the implementation of United Nations resolutions in a bid to end the Kashmir dispute. Musharraf said both India and Pakistan will have to show flexibility on the their stated positions on Kashmir if they want to settle the issue. |

Política de privacidad