November 2005 News

Differences On LoC 'timeframe'

20 November 2005
The Nation

Islamabad: Pakistan and India had failed to iron out differences on 'timeframe' for the opening of Line of Control despite intense informal talks, revealed the officials here saying it could lead to the collapse of recently concluded agreement on vital issue. The South Asian nuclear states reached an accord on the opening up of LoC for quake relief activities and crossing of affected Kashmiri people on October 29. However, they could not reach agreement on how long the Kashmir border would remain open at that time. Since then back channel diplomacy was on to do away with differences on time period for LoC crossings but where Pakistan asked for opening of Line of Control for all times to come, India looked the other way round and refused to oblige, said an official here. Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri had to discuss this vital issue with his former Indian counterpart Natwar Singh at the sidelines of SAARC summit but due to the resignation of later, the meeting could not be held. Now the two sides would again take up the issue of timeframe for LoC in near future through diplomatic channels but official quarters predict no chances of breakthrough due to strict adherence of both sides to their respective positions. If no breakthrough was achieved soon, the very agreement on LoC opening, being dubbed as a vital Kashmir specific CBM, could collapse, warned an official. Despite major differences on timeframe, both the sides have agreed not to stop the opening of five points on LoC. A diplomatic source said India was reluctant to accede to Pakistan's demand of attaching no time limit to LoC opening because of what it said expected surge in incursions across the Line of Control. It had also conveyed its displeasure to Pakistan over what it said alleged involvement of Jihadi organisations in recently carried out four or five acts of sabotage in Held Kashmir, the source added.


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