The relation between India and Pakistan is complicated as ever with scores of reasons for dispute, one of the major causes being the row over Kashmir.
Modi’s invitation to Pakistan premier Nawaz Sheriff for his swearing in ceremony was seen as a new beginning kindling hope and excitement. Modi had vowed to adopt steps essential to improving the strained relations. But the subsequent moves had hindered the peace efforts from both the sides. The cancellation of foreign secretary level talks by India following the Pakistan ambassador’s meeting with the Kashmiri separatist leaders triggered much hullaballoo. The recent terrifying floods wrecked havoc in the region killing many. Now the intense fighting along the border of control between the nuclear-armed neighbours is claiming the lives of innocent civilians who bear the brunt of the enmity between the two nations. Around eight civilians have been died so far, 70 injured and many of the people residing in the areas in proximity to the border have been displaced.
Kashmir is claimed by both countries and the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan in 2003 has hardly been followed. Pakistan, reportedly, has made several ceasefire violations and more than 60 border crossings in October alone. The shelling and gunfire along the LOC continues with both the countries hitting out on each other for targeting civilians and violating border truce. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has urged India and Pakistan to resolve the issues peacefully. US President Barack Obama has also expressed his concern over the rising insurgency. Sheriff apparently appears nonchalant despite being well aware of the neighbour’s power and military force. Even though Modi has kept a meaningful silence, he has chosen to act firmly with Pakistan in case of any further provocations.
The continued skirmishes from either side would only further weaken the political relations. Both the countries face huge challenges including that of economic growth, particularly Pakistan whose internal crisis aggravates the already volatile situation. Kashmir has been the focus of major tension between the two countries and only a peaceful discussion attempted at improving the ties would do any good. The escalation of hostilities wasting the energy and resources would only lead to political, economical and national security crisis.