Pakistan-India relations Timeline 2015 - 2019

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Note: The developments regarding Pakistan-India relations and the Kashmir Dispute since January 2015. The news regarding Kashmir is highlighted in green. Please note that the following timeline does not include ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary. The time line also does not include developments regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav case.  

Written by Muhammad Abdul Qadeer

YEAR 2015

DECEMBER 2015

On December 31, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited India to hold dialogue with Pakistan on all issues, saying the two countries cannot live as enemies.

PM Nawaz expressed optimism that India-Pakistan ties would improve in the days ahead. Nawaz Sharif also said that PM Modi’s Lahore visit will have a positive impact on the comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan on unresolved issues.



On December 25, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, during a surprise visit to Pakistan, met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore.

Both leaders decided that as a part of the comprehensive dialogue, the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet in mid-January 2016. The meeting was seen as a positive development but the critics argue that the progress has been slow in addressing the outstanding issues that have strained relations between the two countries.



On December 23, US State Department Spokesman, John Kirby, said that the US believes that India and Pakistan now seem genuinely interested in fostering greater understanding between the two countries.

John Kirby also said that the US continues to encourage any effort that would help improve relations between India and Pakistan. Experts believe that the recent thaw in Pakistan-India relations and the restoration of comprehensive dialogue between the two countries will improve the security environment in the region which is confronted by numerous challenges.



On December 22, Dawn reported that Battalion Commanders of both the Indian and Pakistani armies met in Poonch and acknowledged each other’s efforts in maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Control in the recent past.

The meeting discussed issues, which included ceasefire violations, return of civilians inadvertently crossing the LOC, air space violations and construction activity close to the LOC.



On December 17, Pakistan’s Foreign Office laid stress on uninterrupted and result oriented dialogue with India.

Pakistan and India, during India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad on December 8, had agreed on resuming the dialogue on unsettled issues in their relationship. Analysts say there is a need to have meaningful dialogue covering all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.



On December 17, India’s Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj told the Parliament that war is not an option and dialogue is the way forward with Pakistan to fight the ‘shadow of terror’.

Addressing the Parliament on the government plans to resume a dialogue with Pakistan, Sushma Swaraj also acknowledged that Pakistan had arrested the suspects of the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008 and a trial is underway in Pakistan.



On December 13, Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, visited Turkmenistan and attended the launching ceremony of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas 29 pipeline.

Turkmenistan President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani and Indian Vice President, Hamid Ansari also attended the ceremony. The project is believed to cost approximately $7.6 billion. However, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned that the cost of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project would go up to $10 billion due to the delay in its implementation. The 1,735 kilometres long gas pipeline will provide 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan to the other three countries.



On December 14, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, briefed the Parliament on her Pakistan visit saying that an uninterrupted dialogue was needed with Pakistan despite provocations.

Sushma Swaraj defended India’s decision to start a ‘Comprehensive Dialogue’, saying there was a ‘need for bridging the gulf’ with Islamabad for peace and stability in the region. She said that the continued hostile relations between the two countries were a hurdle to realisation of peace in the region. The minister also said that she had asked Pakistan to speed up the trial process of Mumbai terror attacks.  



On December 11, adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, during the National Assembly session said that the bilateral talks with India and Afghanistan held during the ‘Heart of Asia Conference’ would help bring peace and prosperity to the region.

Sartaj Aziz told the legislators that the ‘comprehensive dialogue’ with India would cover all outstanding issues including the issue of Kashmir. On the issue of Afghanistan, adviser to the PM said that Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US have agreed to a formal mechanism to oversee peace efforts in Afghanistan.



On December 11, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, met with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. During the meeting, both leaders welcomed the recent developments in Indo-Pak bilateral relations.

The meeting came after India and Pakistan decided to resume the renamed ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ during the sidelines of ‘Heart of Asia’ conference. Both leaders expressed optimism that the recent progress in India-Pak bilateral relations would lead to closer cooperative ties between the two countries. On December 10, Dawn reported that the Pakistani lawmakers expressed their reservations over the outcome of ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, alleging that the joint statement of the Pakistan-India bilateral meeting was tilted in India’s favour. Pakistan has insisted that there cannot be any dialogue with India unless the issue of Kashmir is on the agenda.



On December 9, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, warned that a terrorist attack in India could spark off a war between Pakistan and India.

With BJP’s rise to power, the relations between India and Pakistan have deteriorated sharply, while exacerbating the threat of a serious military confrontation between the two countries. Earlier, in August 2015, the US said that speculation about the potential use of nuclear weapons would not help reduce tensions between India and Pakistan. Observers say the initiation of ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ between India and Pakistan have raised new hopes for ties between the two countries.



On December 9, Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, and the Indian Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, addressed the ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference held in Islamabad.

During the address, Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif promised full support to all efforts for increasing peace in the region with emphasis on stabilising Afghanistan. On the stalled Afghan reconciliation process, PM Nawaz reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate the Afghan peace process. He also warned over the cross-border movement of refugees and said that it remained a key security challenge. Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani said during his speech at the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference that regional cooperation was needed to end terrorism. Meanwhile, he appreciated Pakistan’s decision to launch operations against militancy, but he also warned that the action had ‘created unintended consequences’ bringing about the disbursement of the militant groups in Afghanistan. Indian Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, in her speech, focused on increased connectivity and regional trade. She also conveyed India’s willingness to join the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA). The Indian foreign minister also said that the issue of terrorism constitutes a major challenge for achieving peace in Afghanistan and said India was ready to help Afghanistan strengthen its defence capabilities.



On December 9, Pakistan and India agreed to restart dialogue on outstanding issues but now under a new title of Comprehensive Dialogue, ending a two-year long stalemate.

This was announced by the Indian External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, after her meetings with Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, on the sidelines of Heart of Asia ministerial conference held at Islamabad. The development is seen as a significant thaw in the two countries’ bitter relationship, with India agreeing to start a dialogue process that would include Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad assuring the Indian government of expediting the trial of the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan has long pressed India that any talks between India and Pakistan should include Kashmir, which has remained a key concern for Pakistan. The resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan will now include discussion on peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and counter terrorism.



On December 6, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA), Lt. General (R) Nasir Janjua, met with his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, in Bangkok.

According to a joint statement, both NSAs’ discussed peace and security, terrorism, LOC and Jammu & Kashmir issues during a meeting. The meeting was also attended by the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India. The NSA level meeting followed the Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi meeting in Paris during the Climate Change Summit. Observers say the resumption of dialogue between the two countries is a major breakthrough. Earlier, in August 2015, the meeting between the two NSA’s was cancelled after India attached pre-conditions on the talks, insisting that the Pakistani NSA could not meet the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders.



On December 3, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman, Qazi Khalilullah, said that comments by the Indian envoy in Afghanistan on the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Paris breached diplomatic norms.

Earlier, on December 2, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Amar Sinha stated that “mere statements are of no help to Afghan peace talks”. The envoy also raised doubts over Pakistan’s sincerity in promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The diplomatic protocol does not permit a foreign envoy to comment publicly about his host’s relations with a third country.



On December 2, President Mamnoon Hussain said that an aggressive military doctrine in the region had led to increased import of high-tech military equipment, which might disturb the existing balance of power, adding that Pakistan needed to improve its economy and strengthen its defence capabilities as it would help the country address the internal and external challenges.

Islamabad remains concerned over India’s military modernisation plans, which has added to a growing disparity between the Indian and Pakistani conventional military capabilities. Experts believe that India’s military expansion and its modernisation ambitions are increasingly causing concern among the other regional countries, Earlier, on December 2, President Mamnoon said that Pakistan has not been able to exploit its full potential in defence related exports due to weak marketing strategies. Despite economic constraints, Pakistan aims to strengthen existing defence partnerships and attract new buyers.

 

NOVEMBER 2015

On November 30, Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif met with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and exchanged pleasantries on the sidelines of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The informal meeting between the two leaders comes after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the meeting with British PM David Cameron on the side lines of Commonwealth Summit held at Malta said that Pakistan was ready for talks with India without preconditions.



On November 24, according to Reuters, Indian diplomats have launched a new push for India’s inclusion into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Earlier on October 28, 2015, the chairman of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) visited New Delhi and met with India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj as part of a diplomatic “outreach” that seeks to build a consensus to admit India at the NSG annual meeting in June 2016. Experts say India’s inclusion into the Nuclear Supplier Group would undermine the credibility of the group, weaken the non-proliferation regime and further exacerbate the fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia and also drag other regional players into continued arm race in South Asia. Pakistan maintains its position that if India is granted inclusion into the NSG, the same status should be granted to Pakistan as it is fully complying with the standards set by non-proliferation regime in other words criteria-based exception, not country-specific exceptions.



On November 24, three fighters were killed after they attacked an Indian Army camp at Tangdhar, in Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

The Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. Following the attack, Indian media once again resorted to blaming Pakistan.



On November 19, it was reported that the PM adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz informed the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that dossiers given to the US and UN’s Secretary General on India’s alleged involvement in terrorism in Pakistan did not contain ‘material evidence’ and that the dossiers instead contained the ‘pattern and narrative’ of Indian involvement.

In a related development on November 20, Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman, Qazi Khalilullah said that the dossiers given to US and UN’s Secretary General contained ‘hard’ and ‘irrefutable’ evidence regarding India’s alleged involvement in terrorism inside Pakistan. Sartaj Aziz later clarified his statement and said the dossiers shared with the UN and the US officials contained “substantial material” on Indian intervention inside Pakistani territory adding, “Pakistan has been careful while sharing the details as we cannot disclose our sources of information”. The dossiers have been submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and were also shared with US Secretary of State John Kerry during the Prime Minister’s Nawaz Sharif visit to the US in October 2015.



On November 14, Pakistan Embassy in US in a statement said that it was India not Pakistan that introduced nuclear weapons into South Asia.

Following US media claims that Pakistan was “irresponsibly building its nuclear arsenal”, Pakistan reiterated that it had previously pushed hard to keep nuclear weapons out of South Asian and had proposed several different options to India. Pakistan had previously recommended to India to simultaneously sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and had also urged the establishment of a nuclear restraint regime but India had rejected these initiatives. Pakistan also stated that India is increasing its fissile material production to aid its SLBMs, which are presently undergoing sea trails.



On November 10, India’s Chief of Air Staff, Arup Raha said China, Pakistan and the Naxalites are a major source of worry for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

India’s Air Chief also accused Pakistan’s Army of supporting the militant organisations and its interference in the internal affairs of Jammu and Kashmir and said it will remain a ‘source of friction’ between India and Pakistan. ACM Raha further listed Naxalites as one of the internal security challenges and said that the Naxalites had emerged as a major threat to India’s internal security. He also pointed out China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) as a source of concern for India.



On November 6, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged $12 billion in funds to boost development and economic growth in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

During his visit to IOK, Narendra Modi underscored progress in road and rail networks. Indian security forces detained all Hurriyat leaders along with hundreds of activists who say that the economic packages will not help in resolving the Kashmir dispute and that development is not possible without peace. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 civilians have been killed and thousands have disappeared in the army operations carried out by the Indian forces in IOK.



On November 4, a US Congressional report said that India’s goals in Afghanistan are to deny Pakistan strategic depth and the ability to block India from trade and other connections to Central Asia and beyond.

The report also points out that US-Pakistan relations had “improved somewhat”. It also notes that India does not want Pakistan to gain “preponderant” influence in Afghanistan. The report also underscored US and Indian mutual interests in Afghanistan citing India and Afghanistan 2011 Strategic Partnership agreement saying it “demonstrated India’s support for US efforts to better integrate Afghanistan into regional political, economic, and security structures”. However, Pakistan accuses India of facilitating anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan.



On November 3, Diyar Khan, minister at the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations said during the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee meeting that Pakistan firmly rejected an Indian claim to Kashmir as an “integral part” of India, adding it was an internationally recognised disputed territory.

Diyar Khan’s statement followed a speech by Indian delegate Rattan Lal Kataria, calling Kashmir as India’s “integral part” and that Pakistan was in illegal occupation of a part of that “Indian state”. While responding, Diyar Khan reiterated Pakistan’s position and reminded that the UN Security Council resolutions recognise Kashmir as a disputed territory between India and Pakistan and call for a settlement of this issue through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices.

 

OCTOBER 2015

On October 30, Dawn reported that protests erupted in Indian occupied Kashmir after the Indian authorities said a top militant Abu Qasim had been killed in a gun battle.

Indian authorities claimed that Abu Qasim, was operations chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group. However, there was no confirmation from the LeT or other groups regarding death of Abu Qasim.



On October 30, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson, Kazi Khalilullah expressed concerns over India expanding its conventional military capabilities and cautioned that its actions could affect the region’s strategic balance. Indian defence spending has doubled, raising its defence budget to $ 40 billion.

Moreover, India remains one of the world’s largest buyers of conventional weapons. Experts believe that India’s military expansion and its modernisation ambitions are increasingly causing concern among the other regional countries particularly Pakistan. Islamabad remains concerned over India’s military modernisation plans, which has added to a growing disparity between the Indian and Pakistani conventional military capabilities.



On October 29, Pakistan’s Foreign Office urged the international community to take notice of the activities of India’s hardliner political party Shiv Sena, especially its attacks on visitors from Pakistan.

Shiv Sena shows no signs of stopping its anti-Pak campaign. Meanwhile the group has recently targeted visitors from Pakistan including the former foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri. The Hindu hardliner group has also forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to revive bilateral cricketing ties.



On October 29, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry asked the global powers not to pressurise Pakistan on its nuclear programme saying “Rather than making unrealistic demands on Pakistan to compromise on its core security interests, major powers must consider implications of their actions and policies”.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary also emphasised that Pakistan faces a ‘credible threat’ from India, which has adopted provocative doctrines like Cold Start Doctrine and that the Indian conventional military build-up remains Pakistan specific. Pakistan also demands the reduction of conventional weapons in the region and insists that the rise in the acquisition of sophisticated conventional weaponry systems by India has created conventional imbalance in the South Asian region. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary also said that the NSG waiver granted to India is undermining strategic stability in South Asia. Pakistan has always urged that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should adopt a criteria-based approach rather than country based exceptions. Aizaz Chaudhry also termed the recent reports which asserted that Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear programme as ‘baseless’.



On October 25, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned India’s deputy high commissioner and lodged a strong protest over the ceasefire violations by Indian troops killing three civilians in Pakistan along the Working Boundary. Persistent shelling and firing by Indian forces has resulted in heavy civilian casualties on the Pakistan side. Pakistan has urged the UN to play its role on ‘implementation of ceasefire 31 agreement’ while claiming that India has disregarded the international conventions by repeatedly violating the ceasefire agreements along working boundary and line of control.



On October 24, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup welcomed the joint pledge by the US and Pakistan to fight militant groups it suspects of attacking Indian targets, but ruled out any third-party mediation over Kashmir dispute.

The statement comes a day after US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a joint call for the Taliban to return to peace negotiations with the Afghan government. Vikas Swarup also blamed Pakistan for promoting terrorism as the instrument of state policy.



On October 22, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged India to re-engage with Pakistan, pointing out that so far New Delhi’s response to Islamabad’s peace efforts has not been encouraging.

Pakistan has held India responsible for the current state of bilateral relations. Earlier, in August 2015, India cancelled the talks between the national security advisers (NSAs) of India and Pakistan. Many view the stalemate in the dialogue between the two sides as a big blow to the efforts being made to normalise the relations.



On October 21, Pakistan handed over three dossiers to US Secretary of State John Kerry on India’s involvement in subversive activities in the country.

Pakistan has also conveyed its concerns to American officials in the past. Pakistan has serious concerns over the role of the Indian involvement across Pakistan and also about the role of the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistani officials have long claimed that India covertly backs terrorism in Pakistan.



On October 20, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhary said that Pakistan has made low-yield nuclear weapons to bridge the gap for war that India had created through its Cold Start doctrine.

This is the first ever explanation from any senior Pakistani official defining Pakistan’s official stance to deal with the possible threat of an Indian aggression. Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry has also cautioned over the Indian actions to move its cantonments close to the Pakistani border allowing India also to shift its conventional weapons closer to Pakistan. Experts suggests that Pakistan was compelled to develop short range missile because of its concern, which emerged due to India’s limited war doctrine which aims to attack Pakistan, thinking that Pakistan would not retaliate with a major nuclear strike.



On October 18, a statement submitted by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Tehmina Janjua, said that a balanced reduction of armed forces and conventional armaments is a necessary prerequisite for meaningful disarmament.

Pakistan remains concerned over the increasing conventional disparity of weapons’ systems between India and Pakistan. Military experts say Indian rapid military modernisation could undermine the conventional military balance in South Asia.



On October 12, according to Dawn, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser, Sartaj Aziz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would discuss the stalled dialogue between Pakistan and India with United States President Barack Obama during their upcoming meeting on October 22, 2015 at the White House.

NSA adviser Sartaj Aziz also said “Indian state institutions, including the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), are involved in terrorist activities across Pakistan.” Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the US officials in the past. Pakistan government remain concerned about the role of the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Afghanistan and its support for insurgency in Balochistan.



On October 15, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, during a debate at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) said “the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains the root cause of tensions and instability” in South Asia adding, “the people of Kashmir have suffered brutal oppression,” and “escalating tensions on the Line of Control in Kashmir and the Working Boundary require Pakistan and India to take possible measures to avert further escalation”.

With the Narendra Modi government coming to power, the Line of Control (LOC) saw the most frequent violations of the cease-fire, by India. Pakistan has always urged the international community to also take notice of the human rights violations by the Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir with its 700,000 forces has killed more than 100,000 civilians. Several reports have emerged highlighting the Indian oppression and its security forces involvement in cases of torture and rape inside IOK.



On October 12, India’s Shiv Sena, during the launch of former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri’s book in Mumbai, doused the event organiser with black ink.

In a related development on October 13, Indian police arrested six members of Shiv Sena party over this ink attack. The Shiv Sena had earlier threatened to disrupt the launch of Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book but later called off their protest against Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch event. A series of incidents to suppress the freedom of speech in India has recently kindled new debate in India. Observers say freedom of speech remains a daunting challenge in India, particularly after the BJP government came into power.



On October 9, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) expressed concerns over violence against Muslims in India for slaughtering cattle and consuming beef.

Pakistan’s FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah also said “In a democratic country, that also claims to be secular, the state should be able to guarantee fundamental rights of minorities and take appropriate measures to ensure that they are able to live in accordance with their religious beliefs”. Violence against Muslims has seen a rapid increase since the BJP government came into power. Ban on beef and cattle slaughtering has evoked a serious reaction within the Muslim community living in India while raising question marks on India’s long held claim of being a secular state.



On October 7, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson, Qazi Khalilullah said its nuclear policy is shaped by the evolving security dynamics of South Asia, thus taking all necessary measures to maintain a full spectrum deterrence capability in order to safeguard the country’s national security.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson said “Pakistan’s nuclear policy is shaped by evolving security dynamics of South Asia, growing conventional asymmetry, provocative doctrines and aggressive posturing by India, which obliges us to take all necessary measures to maintain a full spectrum deterrence capability in order to safeguard our national security, maintain strategic stability and deter any kind of aggression from India”. Military experts believe that the nuclear deterrence continues to remain pertinent and active in South Asia due to the existence of numerous conflicts particularly between the two South Asian nuclear neighbours, Pakistan and India.



Earlier, on October 2, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, during his address at the Royal United Services Institute in London, said that Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of Indo-Pak partition which needs to be resolved for the sake of peace and stability in the region.

The army chief also said “Indian intransigence and the violations at Line of Control are negatively affecting the region”. Terming the Kashmir conflict as the “unfinished agenda of partition”, policymakers in Pakistan have always urged India to uphold its commitment to a plebiscite, instead of maintaining its forcible control. Pakistan has also repeatedly raised concerns over the continuous unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian security forces and has stressed that India must stop the ceasefire violations and respect the 2003 arrangement in order to restore peace at the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.



On October 1, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, during her address to the UN General Assembly’s 70th Session, rejected a four-point peace plan for Kashmir proposed by Pakistan, saying “talks and terror cannot go together”.

This was in response to PM Nawaz Sharif’s address to the UNGA where he had put forward a 4-point peace proposal for the subcontinent. Pakistan rejected India’s allegations on terrorism.

 

SEPTEMBER 2015

On September 30, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the UN General Assembly’s 70th session urged India to pledge with Pakistan not to use force or the threat of force under any circumstances and proposed a four point agenda to diffuse tension between Pakistan and India.

Proposed four-point agenda also includes demilitarising of Kashmir, an unconditional withdrawal of troops from Siachen and adherence to the 2003 border ceasefire agreement. Prime Minister Nawaz also stressed that Pakistan has maintained the highest standards of nuclear security and has established an effective regime to ensure the safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear facilities. Pakistan also raised its concerns regarding the Kashmir dispute stating that Kashmiris have faced brutal oppression and more than 100,000 have died in their struggle for self-determination. Prime Minister Sharif described the ongoing Kashmir dispute as a failure of the United Nations. The Prime Minister also stressed that Pakistan is not engaged in an arms race in South Asia.



On September 28, India’s Ministry for External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Vikas Swarup, said that Pakistan was also discussed in the Obama-Modi meeting during a wider discussion on terrorism.

Vikas Swarup said the two leaders did not discuss the Kashmir issue as “there’s a broad agreement that this is a bilateral issue, between India and Pakistan”. Pakistan maintains its principled stance that the Kashmir dispute is an issue regarding the future of millions of Kashmiri people who are a principal party to this dispute and whom India has oppressed through military occupation. Regarding issues related to terrorism, Pakistan has serious concerns over the role of the Indian involvement across Pakistan and also about the role of the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), in Afghanistan due to RAW’s apparent support for insurgency in Balochistan. Pakistan has also conveyed its concerns to American officials in the past.



On September 27, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement urging India and Pakistan to “continue their peaceful dialogue” and encouraged Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to continue engaging with Afghanistan.

PM Nawaz Sharif asked the United Nations to enforce the Security Council resolution on Kashmir, urging a plebiscite and address the cease fire violations on the Line of Control and Working Boundary. The Kashmir dispute dominates Indo-Pakistan relations. Since 1998 it has been described as a nuclear flashpoint. Observers say that the resumption of a composite dialogue would have been in the best interests for peace and development in the region. India-Pakistan ties reached their lowest point, especially after the cancellation of NSA-level talks over differences in the agenda. However, prospects for resumption of the reconciliation process remain weak. Regarding the Afghan reconciliation process that began in July, 2015, the subsequent surge in violence in Afghanistan renewed acrimony between Kabul and Islamabad and made the resumption of the process even more uncertain.



On September 23, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to the United Kingdom (UK) met with Prime Minister David Cameron. During his visit, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described Kashmir as a ‘core issue’ between Pakistan and India and also stressed the need for early resolution of the longstanding dispute between both the countries.

Pakistan maintains that a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices is the only solution for the Kashmir dispute. There was also a discussion on regional issues, including the ongoing Afghan peace process. Both leaders expressed satisfaction on the overall trajectory of the bilateral relations between the two sides and discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation in various areas of mutual interest.



On September 12, according to The Guardian, two human rights groups accused the Indian government of an “institutional cover-up” to avoid punishing dozens of highranking military and police officials implicated in killings, disappearances, torture and sexual violence in the disputed region of Kashmir.

There have long been allegations of torture and arbitrary detention by Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir. In July 2015, Amnesty International accused the Indian government of refusing to prosecute perpetrators of human rights abuses in the region.



On September 10, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that there would be no talks with India without the ‘all important Kashmir issue’ included in the agenda. The Kashmir dispute dominates Indo-Pakistan relations.

It is now accepted that it defines the parameters of the Pak-India relationship and therefore has become central for peace and stability in South Asia. Since 1998 it has been described as a nuclear flashpoint. Pakistan maintains that a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices is the only solution for the Kashmir dispute.



On September 10, Director General Rangers Pakistan and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Commander held meetings in New Delhi and agreed to devise new strategies to put an end to incidents of ceasefire violations.

In a related development on September 14, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported that the Indian border security forces had again violated the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire, as its troops resorted to unprovoked firing along the Nakial sector in Sialkot. Pakistan has held India responsible for the current state of bilateral relations. Persistent shelling and firing by Indian forces has resulted in heavy civilian casualties on the Pakistan side. However, Pakistan has urged UN to play its role on ‘implementation of ceasefire agreement’ while claiming that India has disregarded the international conventions by repeatedly violating the ceasefire agreements along working boundary and line of control.



On September 9, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during the National Command Authority’s (NCA) meeting, said that Pakistan would continue to maintain broad spectrum deterrence linked to credible minimum deterrence for security purposes.

NCA meeting concluded that India’s rapidly growing nuclear programme and absence of a conflict resolution mechanism were upsetting strategic stability in the region and the situation was compelling Pakistan to maintain full-spectrum deterrence capability. During recent years India’s defence expenditures have seen sharp upward trajectory that makes it difficult for other regional players to maintain parity. The ongoing military developments in India, that include the introduction of ABM systems in the region and developing a second strike capability in the form of submarine launched ballistic missiles, could once again lead to deterrence instability. Military experts believe that the nuclear deterrence continues to remain relevant and active in South Asia due to the existence of long outstanding disputes that had been a source of several wars and military crises between the two South Asian nuclear neighbours.



On September 6, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif said that Pakistan Army is fully capable of responding to attacks on a small or large scale, adding that the enemy will face heavy consequences in any case. Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif also said that the longstanding Kashmir dispute could no longer be put on the back burner.

There is a dangerous drift in Indo-Pak relations ever since the BJP government came into power. Kashmir dispute continues to occupy a paramount position in Indo-Pak relations. Islamabad defines Kashmir as a core issue and the root cause of tension with India. However, India, while expressing its willingness to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan, has tended to avoid conducting any meaningful dialogue with Pakistan regarding Kashmir.



On September 6, All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) leader, Syed Ali Geelani, in a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has appreciated the principled stand taken by Pakistan on the recently cancelled national security advisers’ talks with India.

Syed Ali Geelani also said that a strong Pakistan is “pre-requisite” for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. Anti-Indian sentiments are strong in Kashmir as India aims to choke the political space in Indian occupied Kashmir. Observers say the brutalisation of Kashmiri people in recent years has challenged the tyrannical Indian state’s system of injustice and occupation.

 

AUGUST 2015

On August 28, at least eight of the ongoing people were killed in villages along the Working Boundary in the bloodiest ceasefire violations by India this year. This year saw the most frequent violations of a cease-fire by India.

Pakistan has expressed its deep concern at the continued hostility at the LoC and the Working Boundary. The Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan was also summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest was lodged over the latest ceasefire violations. Pakistan expressed concern over continuous unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian forces urging India to immediately stop the violations and observe the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding.



On August 27, military officials informed the Senate defence committee that India is the only external military threat to Pakistan.

The military officials shared the perceived threat with members of the Senate that India had over the last couple of years purchased weapons worth USD 100 billion, 80 per cent of which were Pakistan-specific. There is increasing concern that the continuing hostility by India could spark a major conflagration in the region and beyond. Also apart from the threat it 24 poses to security, many analysts believe that the animosity between the two nuclear-capable powers is preventing the region from realising its full potential.



On August 23, India called off the talks between the national security advisers (NSAs) of India and Pakistan. Pakistan maintains that it could not accept India’s “preconditions” for the talks, while India denied that it was to blame.

Many see the cancellation of the dialogue between the NSAs of both sides as a big blow to the efforts being made to normalise the relations. On August 22, Hurriyat leaders including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah were put under house arrest by the Indian government and were released after a few hours. Analysts said that the arrest of top Hurriyat leaders and their subsequent release by the police before NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan had once again proved just how fragile the peace process is between the two neighbouring nations.



On August 20, Pakistan called off the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), following pressure from India to invite the speaker of the legislature of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Pakistan had ruled out inviting the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) Assembly speaker saying it does not recognise and accept the state assembly as legitimate one.



On August 16, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) met with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

During visit Narendra Modi also made references to Pakistan, particularly in the context of terrorism, during a public address to the Indian community saying “Those who do not wish to join us can choose their own destiny.” Indian PM further went on saying “Good Taliban, Bad Taliban…Good Terror, Bad Terror…this won’t work. A decision has to be taken – are you with terrorism or with humanity?”. India, for its part, views the Gulf as an extension of its strategic neighbourhood and is both willing and able to play the role of a net security provider, including securing energy shipments from the Gulf to India. India now has security and defence agreements with key Gulf states.



On August 11, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it will not challenge the conditional bail granted to Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseeman and by the Punjab and Haryana high court last year in the Samjhota blasts case.

In 2010, the NIA had claimed that Aseemanand was the mastermind of the blast and he was charged along with other accused in June, 2011 for the twin blasts. Islamabad had raised the issue on several occasions demanding expeditious trial in the case. Sixty-eight people were killed in the February 2007 bombing of the Samjhota Express, most of them Pakistani nationals.


On August 9, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, Sartaj Aziz, said Pakistan will “never invite the speaker of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to the upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference” to be held in Islamabad from September 30 to October 8, 2015.

Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser, Sartaj Aziz also reiterated Pakistan’s position on Kashmir that it is a disputed territory and Pakistan does not recognise its assembly. Pakistan is hosting the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference for which over 70 percent of the delegates have confirmed participation. However, India has asked Pakistan to send the invitation or it will boycott the conference.



On August 2, according to Times of India, New Delhi proposed a meeting of the National Security Advisers (NSAs) on Aug 23, 2015 for discussing the terrorist threat faced by India and Pakistan.

India has long been accused of fuelling insurgency in Balochistan and unrest across Pakistan. Indian intelligence agency RAW is also reportedly patronising militant groups that have been fighting Pakistan Army in tribal areas. Observers say Pakistan is likely to flag its concerns about the Indian involvement in terrorism across Pakistan in the proposed NSA meeting.

JULY 2015

On July 30, following the attack in the Indian city of Gurdaspur, Pakistan’s Foreign Office termed Indian accusations against Pakistan as “unfortunate”.

Following the accusations, Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit also postponed his visit to the Indian city of Chandigarh because the Indian government did not permit his driver and two other officers to travel with him. The Indian media was quick to blame Pakistan for the July 27 Gurdaspur attacks without any evidence. Indian media and its government have always blamed Pakistan for incidents of terrorism in India. It was also reported that the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana have refused to host the Pakistani High Commissioner after the Gurdaspur incident.



On July 27, ten people died in the Indian state of Punjab after a group of three terrorist attacked a police station in Gurdaspur.

Indian media and officials were quick to blame Pakistan for the attack even though Indian Punjab has a long history of militancy. India fought a deadly Sikh insurgency in Punjab during the 1980s that peaked with the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.



On July 20, the United Nation’s Military Observer Group for Pakistan and India visited the villages hit by Indian firing and shelling near Sialkot Working Boundary.

Ceasefire violations by India have become a routine matter ever since the BJP government came into power. Pakistan Army on July 17, 2015 had requested the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to investigate ceasefire violations by India along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary. Ceasefire violations by India are becoming frequent. The provocation comes as the Pakistan Army is engaged in combating terrorism across the country.



According to Inter Services Public Relations, on July 16, an Indian spy drone has been shot down by Pakistani military forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber, Azad Kashmir.

The drone was capable of shooting high-definition video and taking photographs. Following the incident, Pakistan’s Foreign Office immediately summoned the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad and expressed deep concerns over the issue.



On July 14, Hurriyat Leader Syed Ali Shah Gillani recorded his protest by declining to attend an Eid Milan event at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi.

The leader said that his decision was influenced by the absence of recognition for Kashmir as a part of the agenda on the joint declaration that was released following the Nawaz Modi meeting at Ufa. Syed Ali Shah Gillani has always maintained a pro-Pakistan stance in the Kashmiri Liberation Movement and his recent gesture carries enormous symbolic importance as the glaring absence of any mention of Kashmir in the Ufa joint statement continues to receive condemnation from domestic quarters as well.



On July 10, Pakistan and India were granted permanent membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the Summit held in Ufa.

Pakistan had applied for SCO membership in 2006 and India in 2011. They are the first countries outside of the six founding members to be extended full membership of the organisation, which mandates collaboration between member states on issues ranging from energy to counterterrorism.



On July 10, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Ufa, Russia. The meeting lasted 53 minutes and topics of common interest were discussed.

A joint declaration was subsequently issued promising greater anti-terror cooperation. The meeting was seen as a means to defuse tensions between the states and restart the dialogue process. However, the joint declaration has been criticised for being limited to Indian issues alone while ignoring those that concern Pakistan. Foreign Affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz clarified on July 13 that no dialogue with India would be possible unless Kashmir is a part of the agenda. The statement came even as he highlighted the importance of Track-II diplomacy between the states. The government faced severe criticism as the joint statement issued after the Ufa meeting did not reflect Islamabad’s stance on several key issues, including Kashmir.

 

JUNE 2015

On June 15, the US State Department urged Pakistan and India to take steps to reduce tensions and move toward resuming dialogue.

Since inception of BJP government and Narendra Modi becoming PM, tensions between Pakistan and India have risen rapidly. This tension between New Delhi and Islamabad has increased after India’s controversial cross-border strike in Myanmar, targeting militants. Soon after the strike, India’s Minister of State for Information, Rajyavardhan Rathore, warned that New Delhi could take similar actions against other countries including Pakistan if their territories were used for carrying out militant attacks inside India. Pakistan’s Foreign Office responded and said Pakistan would provide a befitting response and also expose India’s role in destabilising Pakistan through terrorism. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also cautioned India that Pakistan will not hold dialogue with India on their terms and that there can be no dialogue without the water issue and Kashmir as topics for discussion.



On June 11, Pakistani lawmakers passed an unanimous resolution against the hostile statements of Indian politicians. Senate and the National Assembly passed a unanimous resolution condemning recent provocative statements made by Indian leaders, including the threat of attacks against Pakistani territory.

In its resolution, Pakistani lawmakers urged the international community to take note of the situation, cautioning against any fallout on regional peace prospects and stability. The resolution also stated that Pakistan would never allow any country to violate its territory under any pretext and would give a befitting response to any threat from India. Narendra Modi’s statement in Bangladesh, where he admitted that the Indian government was involved in the events of 1971 in the then East Pakistan spurred strong reaction in Pakistan.



On June 10, the Formation Commander’s conference chaired by COAS General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters took serious notice of the recent Indian statements to destabilise Pakistan.

Pakistani officials have long claimed that India covertly backs terrorism in Pakistan. Military experts in Pakistan believe that India wants to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.



On June 9, Pakistan’s Foreign Office expressed serious concerns over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements during his visit to Bangladesh and urged the international community to take notice of Indian PM’s confession about complicity in breakup of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also blamed Pakistan for spreading terrorism in India. Pakistan termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in Bangladesh as being aimed at spreading hatred against it and called on the UN to take notice of India’s “open admission” of indulging in subversive activities to destabilise Pakistan.



On June 3, COAS General Raheel Sharif, in an address to the National Defence University (NDU), said that Kashmir is as an “unfinished” agenda of the partition of British India in 1947 and underlined that Kashmir was “inseparable” from Pakistan.

On Jan 5, 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan’s resolution stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. Subsequent UNSC resolutions reaffirmed this principle. The Indian government has been opposed to a referendum which is in clear violation of the UN resolution regarding Kashmir by India.



On June 1, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “very strongly” raised the issue regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his recent visit to Beijing, and termed the project “unacceptable”.

Ever since Pakistan started construction of Gwadar port, India remains strongly opposed to the CPEC. A recent statement was made by the Indian Minister of External Affairs calling CPEC ‘unacceptable’. Both Pakistan and China have rejected India’s concerns over the Corridor and maintain that the project will benefit the entire region. However, Beijing also cautioned Islamabad that India might use separatist elements in Pakistan to disrupt the projects. Pakistan’s top military and political leadership recently broke its silence over RAW and India’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan. Early in May 2015, India’s Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar even went to the extent of advocating a policy of ‘neutralising terrorists through terrorists’ which was termed by Pakistan as an ‘open confession’ of India’s involvement in abetting terrorism in Pakistan. India remains particularly wary of Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. India views China’s growing maritime influence in the Indian Ocean as an attempt to further its expansionist agenda in the wider Indo-Pacific region and to achieve a strategic encirclement of India by expanding its sphere of influence in India’s neighbourhood. India considers Indian Ocean as its exclusive sphere of influence and the successful realisation of CPEC could disturb India’s present strategic calculus.

 

MAY 2015

On May 24, Pakistan voiced serious concerns over the statement made by Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that “terrorism could be countered by terrorism and for this end why our soldiers should be used against terrorism, terrorists should do it for us.”

The Senate’s Standing Committee on Defence adopted a condemnation resolution which said the statement is an “open confession” of the Indian government pursuing the policy of state terrorism. Terrorism patronised by India is a major concern for Pakistan. This is not the first time India has “admitted” of sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. Earlier in October 2013, Indian Army Chief General Vijay Kumar Singh openly admitted that India sponsored bomb blasts in Pakistan and aided the separatist elements in Balochistan.



On May 6, Pakistan’s top military leadership in a Corps Commanders’ meeting said that the Indian intelligence agency RAW is fuelling terrorism in Pakistan.

Pakistan has quite often raised concerns over Indian involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan. Confessional statements of some criminals Pakistan had arrested recently point towards RAW’s growing activities to weaken Pakistan by promoting terrorism. Earlier, in 2015, the government decided to take a tougher approach towards India and raised its concerns over alleged Indian involvement in acts of terrorism in the country. Pakistan had long been protesting that India’s RAW having entrenched itself in Afghanistan had been one of the main perpetrator’s of terrorist activities in Pakistan.



On May 6, Indian Home Ministry said the government had no clue about the whereabouts of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The statement is in direct contrast to Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s stand, who had alleged in November 2014 that Pakistan was providing shelter to Dawood Ibrahim. Pakistan has always denied Indian allegations that it shelters Dawood Ibrahim. In a related development, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit said India’s admission that it was not aware of Mumbai fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s whereabouts is a vindication of Pakistan’s stand that the wanted underworld don was not hiding in the country.

 

APRIL 2015

On April 16, Dawn reported that Senior Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has urged the chief minister of Indian-held Kashmir to publicly acknowledge that it is a disputed region.

It was his first rally in Srinagar after the 2010 summer agitation, which saw the death of over 100 youths at the hands of Indian occupation forces. Syed Ali Geelani was warmly received by his supporters who were waving flags of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference as well as the national flag of Pakistan. Pro-Pakistan slogans were also raised repeatedly.



On April 15, according to Inter Services Public Relations, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif cautioned foreign states and international agencies to refrain from destabilising Balochistan.

Earlier in October 2013, then foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani shared with India evidence over its interference in Balochistan and aiding separatist militant groups based in Balochistan. Pakistan at various occasions has raised the issue, as this is a matter of great concern for the security managers in Pakistan.



On April 10, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was released from Adiala jail following the Lahore High Court’s dismissal of detention orders issued against him by the Pakistani authorities.

In a related development on April 10, US warned Pakistan that there may be consequences for freeing Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. A case against Lakhvi is still pending in the Islamabad High Court. If the IHC decides to cancel the bail granted to him by the Anti Terrorist Court, he could be re-arrested. Lakhvi’s release annoyed New Delhi while blaming Pakistan for a dual policy on dealing with terrorists, and those who have carried out attacks or are posing a threat to India are being dealt with differently,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office however responded by saying, “It would not be proper to cast aspersions on Pakistan’s commitment to countering terrorism at a time when Pakistan has entered a critical stage of defeating the menace of terrorism.” Pakistan’s Foreign Office also blamed what it said was India’s delay in cooperating in the case, saying it “weakened the prosecution.”



On April 10, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is open to talks with Pakistan on all outstanding issues in the framework of Simla and Lahore pacts.

Bilateral ties went into a freeze after Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit held meetings with the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders in 2014. Since then, the two sides have taken tentative steps towards a possible resumption in dialogue, with India’s foreign secretary S. Jaishankar visiting Islamabad for talks with his Pakistani counterpart. However, India on April 10, 2015 reacted 19 strongly to a Pakistani court’s order to release 2008 Mumbai terror attack’s alleged mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi terming it as an “extremely disappointing development”.



On April 7, at least 11 Indian citizens arrived on Pakistan Naval Ship to Karachi along with citizens from various other countries after they were rescued from war-torn Yemen.

The Indian government expressed their gratitude to Pakistan for the government and navy’s efforts for evacuation. The crisis in Yemen resulted in bringing India and Pakistan together in a rare display of goodwill and mutual cooperation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Pakistan for the special gesture. He tweeted “I welcome our 11 citizens who’ve returned from Yemen with assistance from Pakistan. Thank you PM Nawaz Sharif for your humanitarian gesture.” Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar termed it “a very generous gesture”, adding that “in adversity everyone’s best side has come forward”.

MARCH 2015

On March 24, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson said that Pakistan firmly believes that a solution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue should be derived in accordance to the will of the Kashmiri people and under UN Security Council Resolutions.

A spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on March 23, 2015, had said “there is no place for a third party in the dialogue process with Pakistan.” However, Pakistan reiterated its support for the Hurriyat leaders stating that Pakistan “recognises the Hurriyat as the true representatives of the Kashmiri people and hence regular meetings take place with them”. Pakistan has long demanded implementation of UNSC resolutions for a UN supervised plebiscite in Indian held Kashmir.



On March 24, the adviser to the National Command Authority, General (retd) Khalid Kidwai said Pakistan needs short range “tactical” nuclear weapons to deter arch rival India.

Genral (retd) Kidwai was speaking at a conference on nuclear security organised by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He said that Pakistan had developed the 2,750 km range Shaheen-3 missile to prevent India from gaining a second-strike nuclear capability from Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Adviser also criticised the discriminatory approach adopted by the United States supporting India’s inclusion into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Kidwai further stated “having tactical weapons would make war less likely”. Pakistan’s development of tactical weapons was in response to concerns regarding India’s Cold start military doctrine.



On March 23, a spokesman for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that there is no place for Hurriyat leaders in the dialogue process with Pakistan.

The Indian government ruled out a role of Hurriyat leaders in resolving the Kashmir issue, saying there was no place for a third party in Indo-Pak ties. The statement by the ministry of external affairs came immediately after Pakistani High Commissioner to India had said “India had no objections to Hurriyat representatives being invited to Pakistan’s National Day celebrations”. Early in 2014, India called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan after Pakistani High Commissioner held consultations with Hurriyat leaders.



On March 11, Pakistan’s Foreign and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz said that the elections held in Indian Occupied Kashmir is not a substitute for plebiscite.

Pakistan has long demanded a plebiscite in Indian held Kashmir, in accordance with UNSC resolutions. India has violated the UNSC resolutions and has caused massive human rights abuses in Kashmir which include mass killing of innocent citizens, torture and rape. However, Pakistan maintains its stance that a UN-supervised plebiscite is the only way forward which will provide rights to the people of disputed Kashmir. In a related development on March 11, Pakistan Foreign Office reiterated its support for the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders saying that despite Indian objections, Pakistan will continue to engage Hurriyat Conferrence leaders as they are the true representatives of the Kashmiri people.



On March 03, Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar visited Islamabad where he held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Chaudhry.

While on his visit he also met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan’s National Security adviser Sartaj Aziz. The relations between Pakistan and India deteriorated after India’s continuing aggression along the Working Boundary and Line of Actual Control (LoAC). This is the first secretary level talks since the dialogue process was cancelled by India in August 2014. Pakistan said recent talks with India have eased bilateral tensions and revived prospects for the resumption of a meaningful dialogue to address issues between the two countries. The Foreign Office has also described this visit as an ‘ice breaker’. Envoys from India and Pakistan agreed to narrow the differences. Foreign Secretaries of both countries have emphasised the need to work together but there was no decision on whether the meeting would result in future negotiations / resumption of dialogue.



On March 02, according to Dawn the new coalition government of Indian Occupied Kashmir urged India to resume talks with Pakistan and Hurriyet leaders.

Earlier in November 2014, India cancelled the dialogue process with Pakistan saying that Pakistan should either choose the Indian government or Hurriyyat leaders for the talks. Pakistan strongly rejected the Indian conditions for dialogue. However, after the legislative elections in IOK the new Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Saeed emphasised that dialogue with Pakistan is essential to achieve stability in the region. Mufti Saeed also praised Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders for allowing peaceful elections in Indian occupied Kashmir. Mufti’s statement caused serious reactions in India. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly criticised Mufti Saeed’s statement and the BJP government disassociated itself from it. It is for the first time the BJP has held power in Indian occupied Kashmir albeit in a coalition. Mufti Saeed has also faced strong criticism on entering into a coalition with the BJP government in Indian occupied Kashmir.

 

FEBRUARY 2015

On February 26, Pakistan Army Chief warned India that Pakistan will give a ‘befitting’ response to any provocation along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.

The response of Pakistan’s Army Chief comes just before the Indian Foreign Secretary is scheduled to visit Islamabad on March 03, 2015 for Secretary level talks. Indian aggression along the LOC and Working Boundary is a move to disrupt Pakistan’s war against terrorism. Indian evil designs against Pakistan will have serious repercussions in the South Asian region. There is an urgent need to raise the issue of Indian repeated aggression in the United Nations and Pakistan should engage the international community so that the further ceasefire violations by India can be averted.



On February 24, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agreed to form a coalition government in Indian occupied Kashmir.

The disputed region was under New Delhi’s direct rule after the two parties failed to reach consensus to form a coalition government. The reason behind the deadlock was that PDP was demanding the removal of laws which give illegal powers to the Indian forces to commit mass human right violations in Indian held Kashmir. For the first time the Hindu nationalist BJP will form a coalition government in the disputed region.



On February 18, it was reported in Indian Express that India’s Deputy Inspector General of the Coast Guard ordered an alleged Pakistani boat to be blown up in the Arabian Sea on the eve of December 31, 2014.

In a related development on February 24, Indian Coast Guard officer B. K Loshali has been removed from his position and is expected to face an inquiry due to his statement contradictory to Indian government on the issue. The comments of the Indian Coast Guard officer contradicted India’s official stance that the boat had ‘suspected terror links’ and that the crew had set the vessel on fire. Coast Guard DIG was caught saying that he ordered the Pakistani boat to be blown up. Pakistan’s Defence Minister reacted strongly after the revelation of the Indian Coast Guard official, saying that it “tore off India’s veil of being a peaceful country of the region”. Loshali’s comments have placed Indian government in a tough position. Pakistan’s government needs to raise this matter on various international fora that India has violated international rules and disregarded humanitarian laws.



On February 05, Express Tribune reported that Pakistan highlighted the Kashmir issue in the US capital, urging India to work with it for resolving the long-standing dispute.

“The UN Security Council resolutions have the legitimacy of the international contract, accepted by both India and Pakistan before the international community,” said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani. Denying the people of Kashmir what had been pledged to them by the United Nations would be a violation of this international contract.



On February 04, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary said that the Indian government is deliberately altering the demographic makeup of Jammu and Kashmir by settling non state citizens in Indian-held Kashmir and turning its Muslim majority into a minority by dividing the population on ethnic, religious and communal lines.

On Jan 5, 1949, the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan’s resolution stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. But the Indian government has been opposed to a referendum which is a clear violation of the UN resolution regarding Kashmir by India.

 

JANUARY 2015

On January 28, according to Express Tribune Pakistan presented a ‘dossier’ to top US officials detailing evidence of involvement of Indian secret agencies in stoking and supporting militancy in the country’s troubled regions.

The Pakistan’s claim comes amid renewed calls from India for action against JammatudDawa (JuD) and other militant groups during the visit of US President Barrack Obama to India. This is the first time Pakistani officials said evidence was shared with the US regarding the involvement of India in subversive activities.



On January 28, according to Dawn news, Pakistan’s national security advisor Sartaj Aziz said that US-India nuclear deal will destabilise the South Asia region.

US and India resolved their differences over India’s Nuclear Liability Law and the American requirement for tracking of the material provided to India under the cooperation agreement. India has at least 12 nuclear cooperation deals with other countries, in addition to the one with the US. Pakistan fears that nuclear fuel imported by India under the nuclear cooperation agreements would unburden the domestic uranium resources, thus making the same available for Delhi’s ambitious arms programme that requires excessive fissile material.



On January 23, according to Express Tribune Pakistan government urged US to oversee India in order to bring peace and stability in the region.

US secretary of State John Kerry was communicated by the Pakistan’s government that India is pursing policy of aggression against Pakistan and disturbance on eastern borders affects the war on terror. Pakistan is deeply engaged in curbing the menace of terrorism and its forces are busy on the Western border, in such crucial times any disturbance on the Eastern border will disturb this war against terrorism which as of now remains the global concern.