Editorial: Hostilities on the rise again

Srinagar: This week has already seen 13 deaths on the Line of Control (LoC) that divides India and Pakistan. The situation in various areas including Poonch, Uri and Samba sector is so fragile that any incident can trigger more killings and loss of public as well as private property.

Though the situation is telling upon both the countries but on ground no one is willing to admit the miseries their frontier forces and the people living in these areas are facing. The human loss concerns no nation at all. The stance of both the countries seems evident. No one wishes to move an extra yard and get things on track.

What is ironic is that any move by the two warring countries in trying to ease out the situation on the frontier is not been responded by the other. After the fresh spree of killings this week, Pakistan offered an olive branch by saying that it is examining a proposal for a DGMO-level meeting with India after a gap of four years to reduce tensions along the LoC and the Working Boundary through fresh confidence-building measures.

The report comes a day after Pakistan said four of its soldiers died and five others injured in cross-border firing by Indian troops across the LoC. The Indian Army, however, said seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in its retaliatory firing.

Notably, one of the confidence-building measures being considered for the planned meeting of DGMOs is calibre reduction of the arms being used at the LoC. This measure will prove to be path breaking as there is a need to embrace an overarching strategic stability regime as the need is to shun aggressive security doctrines to reduce the possibility of a nuclear conflict.

Secondly, both the countries can tackle the problem of terrorism and Non-State Actors getting involved at various levels through institutionalised mechanisms. There is a widening trust deficit among both the neighbours and to reduce the trust deficit both have to set eyes on a workable peace roadmap that will take those issues towards resolution by using a step by step method.

However, the need for initiating confidence-building measures should be pursued to alleviate the trust deficit but should not be used as a substitute for the resolution of disputes. The most vexing issues that have been bothering the two nations need a well thought out plan that both the countries should come out with after deliberations at various levels, including political parties of both the nations.

There are several issues that need a wider consensus and to achieve this consensus both the nations need out to spell a wider and broad based dialogue process which will involve various other stake holders as well.

However, for the time being both nations should waste no time for letting the hostilities take a back stage. 

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