Experts call for sustained Pak-India ceasefire to rid terror

ISLAMABAD - International experts have called for a sustained ceasefire and increased India-Pakistan dialogue to reduce border clashes and terrorist incursions.
The experts who have recently held 16th Chaophraya Dialogue under the Indo-Pak Track-II in Bankok, called for devising a permanent cross-border mechanism to deal with terrorism.
National security advisors, DGMOs, DG BSF and DG Pakistan Rangers from both sides need to have regular interactions in order to candidly discuss the gains made after the Operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism, they maintained.
The dialogue looked at permanent cross-border mechanisms that can deal with militancy and terrorism days after the Gurdaspur attacks and renewed violence across the Line of Control, says a statement issued by the Jinnah Institute, an Islamabad based policy think-tank, on Monday. The event was organized in collaboration with the Australia-India Institute.
The participants of the meeting recounted how many times the LoC had been violated over a year, as well as casualties on both sides.
They believed that a quick and ready exchange of intelligence was crucial to prevent terrorist acts and emphasized the need for progressively higher levels of contact between intelligence officials from both sides.
They also believed that evolving threats like Daesh/ISIS that have a transnational character make this task more urgent, as the participants discussed how militant cells cooperating with ISIS had been discovered in India and Pakistan.
They expressed grave concern at the increasing presence of the Daesh/ISIS in Afghanistan and discussed how the agencies of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan could coordinate efforts towards intelligence sharing.
Participants discussed the ongoing 26/11 Mumbai trials in Rawalpindi and its legal complications. They encouraged the two sides to enter into a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in criminal matters based on the model treaty available with SAARC, so that the 26/11 and Samjhauta trials could be expedited.
Participants also underscored the need for insulating the trials from undue political scrutiny and letting the process have a legal course. They encouraged both sides to cooperate on capacity building of law-enforcement agencies, share best practices, and consider if some of these initiatives could be taken up at the SAARC level.
They also took note of the regional environment that impacted the Indo-Pak relations, including China’s investments in CPEC and the AIIB. They saw the Ufa meeting and resumption of official dialogue as a welcome development and hoped that the forthcoming NSA meetings would be productive.
In the discussion, Senator Sherry Rehman led the Pakistani delegation comprising former diplomats Najmuddin Shaikh, Aziz Ahmad Khan, Shafqat Kakakhel, Lt. Gen. (retd) Tariq Ghazi, MNA Daniyal Aziz, Salima Hashmi, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Dr. Moeed Yusuf, Dr. Yaqoob Bangash, Khurram Husain, Zahid Hussain, Ahmad Rafay Alam, Fahd Humayun and Salman Zaidi.
The Indian delegation, led by Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, included former ambassadors K.C. Singh, Jayant Prasad, Vivek Katju and G. Parthasarathy; Dr. Mohan Guruswamy, MPA Baijayant Jay Panda, Lt. Gen. (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, Suhasini Haidar, Dr. Happymon Jacob and Dr. Mallika Joseph. Shoma Chaudhury and Dr. Pallavi Raghavan.

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