Talk also on other issues

PAKISTAN and India on Friday agreed to address through talks the issue of harassment of the diplomats stationed in each other’s countries. According to media reports, the development came as a result of back channel diplomacy between the two states to avoid the situation from getting out of control.
This is a welcome development and indicates sanity has started prevailing after a long spell of provocative developments that have vitiated the atmosphere. In fact, there are mechanisms between the two countries to sort out all issues but these are not being allowed to work. The decision to resolve the issue of harassment of diplomats as per 1992 Code of Conduct for treatment of diplomatic and consular staff is a clear testimony that irritants can be overcome if there is sincerity on the both sides. This is just one aspect of the strained relationship as there are a host of issues that need to be discussed and resolved for the sake of regional peace and security. There are frequent casualties including civilians across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary because of unending ceasefire violations which are blamed by each side on the other. India is fencing the border and has deployed unprecedented number of troops but still it is resorting to the same old accusation of cross-border movement. Its civilian and military leadership is also sparing no occasion to browbeat and pressurize Pakistan hurling threats of so-called surgical strikes and hot pursuits, prompting statements from Islamabad to give a prompt and befitting response to any misadventure. And above all, the situation on bilateral front cannot improve until and unless India agrees to hold meaningful and result-oriented dialogue on Kashmir dispute and resolve it as per aspirations of the Kashmiri people and resolutions of the United Nations. We agree with Indian High Commissioner that bilateral trade can go up manifolds but for that to happen the two countries will have to get rid of the backlog of the history.

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