'India, Pakistan should reinforce ceasefire agreement'

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 20:33 hrs

New Delhi: A group of retired diplomats, civil society activists and media personnel from India and Pakistan, comprising the Delhi Dialogue, have stressed that both countries need to reinforce the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

"There is an urgent need to reduce the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation on the Line of Control (LoC)," said the Delhi Dialogue joint resolution, adopted after the Jan 20-21 discussions here.

The resolution also suggested that roaming cellular facilities should be provided to people of both countries and that culture, sports and humanitarian concerns should be prioritised by both countries in bilateral parleys.

"We recommend that the governments of India and Pakistan should evolve a result-oriented and monitorable mechanism of dialogue. This mechanism should include representation from both sides of the LoC aimed at a mutually acceptable resolution of the Kashmir issue," a statement said.

It also demanded resumption of the suspended bus service and cross-LoC trade on Poonch-Rawlakot route. "The stranded passengers must be allowed to return from the same route."

It suggested addressing bottlenecks of the cross-LoC trade, decentralisation of the LoC trade and travel by creating a single independent authority on the Indian side and also converting the existing barter trade to routine cross-border trade with sufficient checks, and opening up of the old Jammu-Sialkot and Kargil-Skardu trade routes.

It recommended that both governments should display commitment to fight terrorism and not encourage instruments of terror to take root, develop and manifest themselves in any form, and also that de-radicalisation should be adopted as a policy by both governments. "We stress that cultural activities should not be affected in wake of a crisis," the statement said.

The participants met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and shared the Joint Resolution of the conference with him. The Delhi Dialogue is held by the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation and the Jinnah Institute.

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