Clashes and compromises

The longstanding strained rela­tions between India and Paki­stan have fuelled regional tensions for decades, drawing global atten­tion. The nations have engaged in wars, resulting in substantial politi­cal, economic, and social costs, lead­ing to significant human suffering.

These two countries have a his­tory marked by unsuccessful at­tempts at achieving peace. The Bhutto-Swaram talks in the ear­ly ‘60s, secretary-level discussions in the ‘90s, the Eight-item agenda, and the Lahore Summit of Febru­ary 1999 all represented signifi­cant efforts, yet none resulted in a substantial breakthrough.

While both sides have made ef­forts to strengthen ties, there have also been setbacks. As tensions be­came increasingly commonplace, the 2008 terrorist attack in India reverted both nations to their cus­tomary confrontational stance.

Amidst peace dialogues aimed at normalising tensions, the 2019 Pulwama attack in India led to in­creased tensions and the cancella­tion of planned talks between the two countries. On August 5, 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitu­tion, removing special status from Jammu and Kashmir, including au­tonomy. This controversial deci­sion further aggravated relations, prompting people in Pakistan to ob­serve August 5th as a “Black Day.”

Despite India’s moves to compli­cate the relationship, the Pakistan government left no stone unturned in normalising ties. The inaugura­tion of the Kartarpur Corridor in the Narowal district of Punjab, pro­viding visa-free access to the In­dian Sikh community, marked a positive initiative to soften ties be­tween the two countries.

A few years ago, Indian war­planes breached Pakistani air­space, conducting airstrikes on a target within the country. In retal­iation, the Pakistan Air Force shot down two fighter jets and captured one pilot. Subsequently, diplomatic efforts of Islamabad led to the re­lease of the captured Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture, contributing to de-escalation.

Similarly, the Indian government should prioritise regional peace and stability by taking tangible steps to de-escalate tensions and build trust with Pakistan.



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