New Delhi, Dec 24: After year of bickering over range of issues including cross-border terrorism to ceasefire violations and failure of National Security Adviser (NSA) level talks, India and Pakistan have finally showed signs of thaw in year gone by.
In the month of April this year, the suspected mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was released from jail. Lakhvi was granted bail in December last year but was kept in detention under public order legislation.
The bitterness between both the South Asian nations declined following a meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the climate change conference in Paris on November 30. The melting between them served as ice breaker between the two nuclear neighbors.
The brief chat between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif set the stage for the meeting of their National Security Advisors (NSAs) in Bangkok within a week.
This was the first meeting between the two leaders after Ufa in Russia, where they held bilateral talks on the sidelines of SCO summit in July. They decided to hold National Security Advisers (NSA) level talks which was called off by the Pakistan over differences on agenda of the talks in August.
In the first week of December, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Pakistan to participate in a conference held in Islamabad. During her visit to the country she met her counterpart Sartaj Aziz and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Breaking the logjam in their ties only this month, the two countries decided to engage in a "comprehensive" dialogue that will include peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.
Named as Comprehensive Peace Process, it is only different in name from the Composite Peace Process, derailed in 2008 after running for five years when militants launched terrible attacks on Mumbai.
One of the main features of the new format is exclusive talks between the national security advisors on the issue of terrorism.
Pakistan succeeded in including Kashmir in the new format of talks and the two foreign secretaries have been tasked to head the group which will try to disentangle the knot of the decades-old issue.
Aziz, Pakistan's advisor in foreign affairs, briefing parliament about the revival of talks said they would discuss peace and security, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial cooperation, Counter-Terrorism, Narcotics Control and Humanitarian Issues, People to People Exchanges and religious tourism.
"This dialogue includes all the subjects of the Composite Dialogue, with some additions," he said. "It was also decided that terrorism would be discussed by the two National Security Advisers as part of this Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue." Pakistan has proposed to India middle of January for talks here between their Foreign secretaries to discuss all outstanding issues.
OneIndia News (With agency inputs)