India,Pakistan leaders to push peace process in US
NEW DELHI, Tuesday (Reuters) The leaders of India and Pakistan meet
in New York to push forward a peace process which is beginning to offer
a realistic chance of a lasting rapprochement between the long-time
No one expects a major breakthrough when Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf meet on the
sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, but analysts expect
the pair to review and renew their quest for peace and a solution to the
decades-old dispute over Kashmir.
"In all the history of the Kashmir dispute, this peace process holds
out the greatest promise," said Bharat Karnad of the Centre for Policy
Research in New Delhi. "Things are really happening, and both
governments are committed.
There are plenty of hurdles still to overcome, plenty of sceptics
still around. Singh accused Pakistan last month of being "half-hearted"
in its efforts to prevent militants using its soil to attack
Pakistan still suspects India of dragging its feet in the search for
a lasting solution to the Kashmir question, and before leaving for New
York Musharraf said he expected this to top the agenda when he meets
But the backdrop for the meeting is a remarkable shift in the
attitudes of the two governments since the nuclear-armed rivals came
close to war in 2002.
Islamabad has effectively abandoned its quest for a plebiscite to
allow the people of Kashmir to choose between India and Pakistan, and
Musharraf has publicly recognised that India is not prepared to redraw
Instead, the two leaders are talking of a "borderless solution" -
turning the heavily militarised frontline dividing Kashmir into a soft
border, ending the violence and allowing people and trade to cross back
and forth. India has ceded ground too, bringing Kashmiri separatists
into the peace process and allowing them to talk to both sides, in what
is being described as a "triangular dialogue".