The Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, set out to Lahore by bus on February 20, 1999, inaugurating the four-times-a-week Delhi-Lahore-Delhi bus service. The world felt that such a genuine effort at friendly neighbourhood relations would lower the tension along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
But, all hopes of diplomacy disappeared once the cross-LoC firing in Kargil began during the mid-1990s. The death toll, including both soldiers and civilians, was more than 30,000.
The bus service was withdrawn.
2012: Sheikh’s Son Says 1975 Accord Incomplete Exercise
Senior National Conference leader Sheikh Mustafa
Kamal termed the 1975 Accord between Sheikh Abdullah and Indira Gandhi as an incomplete exercise.
The NC leader, who is also the younger son of the Sheikh, said that the NC patriarch and Indira never met and that the exercise remained incomplete.
“After Mirza Afzal Beigh and G Parthasarthy talks, five things remained undiscussed that include (the issues of) Prime Minister, Sadr-e-Riyasat, Election Commission, Supreme Court and Auditor General.”
He said that this had also been stated by senior Congress leader Syed Mir Qasim in his autobiography.
“It is ample evidence that the 1975 pact was an incomplete exercise and making something the base of the argument or discussion that was incomplete doesn’t suit Congress.”
The maverick NC leader also questioned the Congress as to why the party had withdrawn its support to the Sheikh in 1977 if, according to them (the Congress) everything was settled in 1975.
“The Congress has always made efforts to erode the State’s constitution. Now they are trying to erode the history of Kashmir as well. If the Congress is so confident that the 1975 pact has the signatures, they should make public the document.”
If the 1975 exercise was complete, Kamal said, the agreement would have been ratified by the State legislature or the Indian Parliament.
“It was not even discussed or approved by the State or the Central cabinet, let alone passing it in the assembly,” he said.
Mustafa Kamal’s statement came close on the heels of a meeting of a cabinet sub-committee of the J and K Government on Justice Saghir’s report.