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Pakistan, India peace move silences deadly Kashmir frontier

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The machine guns peeking over parapets of small, sandbagged concrete bunkers and the heavy artillery cannons dug deep into Himalayan Kashmir’s rugged terrain have fallen...

4/2/2021 4:56:00 AM

Guns have fallen silent along the Line of Control, a de facto border that divides the Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan after the rivals last month reaffirmed their 2003 cease-fire accord.

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The machine guns peeking over parapets of small, sandbagged concrete bunkers and the heavy artillery cannons dug deep into Himalayan Kashmir ’s rugged terrain have fallen...

.Paul Staniland, associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago, said the ongoing costs of clashes along the Line of Control, the economic effects of the pandemic, and other foreign policy challenges facing both countries might have combined to create incentives to pursue a cease-fire.

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Since 2003, the cease-fire has largely held despite regular skirmishes. Both India and Pakistan claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over it, and in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, militants have fought against Indian rule since 1989.

Each country has accused the other of heightening tensions by significantly ratcheting up border attacks in the last four years, leading to the deaths of soldiers and villagers.The cease-fire announcement came shortly afterfrom a portion of their disputed border after a monthslong deadly military standoff. It had led to fears of a two-front war between India and China, with the latter assisted by its closest ally, Pakistan. headtopics.com

ADVERTISEMENT“Some sort of pressure, possibly from Washington and Beijing for different reasons, is pushing India and Pakistan for wider peace moves in the region,” said Siddiq Wahid, historian and former vice chancellor of the Islamic University of Science and Technology.

Beijing wants Pakistan to focus on securing its investments as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a massive, cross-continental infrastructure development project aimed at expanding China’s commercial connections globally. Islamabad is a key partner and some Chinese-built highways snake through Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. The U.S., on the other hand, is courting India to focus its energies on countering China.

“If Pakistan is indeed looking to move toward a new regional role, embracing geopolitics, reducing tensions with India is a must, and if India is going to pivot to deal with a rising China, it has reasons to want to calm relations with Pakistan,” said Staniland, a South Asia expert. “The real question is whether these reasons remain powerful enough over time.”

The thaw in relations became apparent when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an avowed Hindu nationalist, ceased playing up rhetoric against Pakistan and referencing Kashmir in campaigning for elections in four key states.In Pakistan, too, political leadership and the powerful military have shifted from their earlier position of not engaging with India until it reversed its decision to annul Kashmir’s semi-autonomy. headtopics.com

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Last week, Pakistan’s army chiefGen. Qamar Javed Bajwasaid it was time for the two countries to “bury the past” and resolve the dispute over Kashmir peacefully. His remarks followed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s repeated calls for good relations with India with a caveat that the Kashmir dispute remains at the center of any future talks. Since the announcement of the cease-fire, Khan, too, has abandoned his past rhetoric against Modi.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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Not to get ahead of myself. But I'm hoping that this revolutionary enlightenment being experienced all over the world also helps to bring some of these issues to light. I hope that unity prevails and we can get on with our lives. Everyoneloveeveryone Finally, a story where the guns aren’t shooting people

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Pakistan, India peace move silences deadly Kashmir frontierGuns have fallen silent along the Line of Control, a de facto border that divides the Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan after the rivals last month reaffirmed their 2003 cease-fire accord. Smarter than US Republicans obviously. Knock on wood. Don’t jinx it AP

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