NEW DELHI: The India-Pakistan joint statement reiterating their commitment to respecting the 2003 ceasefire came after peace was brokered by the UAE, a Bloomberg report has revealed. The report, citing a February 26 readout of UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed’s visit to India where he met EAM S Jaishankar, said it gave clues on what was discussed.
Quoting unnamed officials, the report said reiterating the commitment to the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC was only the beginning of a “larger roadmap to forge lasting peace between the neighbours, both of which have nuclear weapons and spar regularly over a territory dispute”.
Indian, Pakistani and UAE foreign ministries are yet to comment on the West Asian country’s role in brokering peace. Interestingly, after US Defence Secretary Llyod Austin’s recent visit to India, sources had also mentioned West Asia. “Conversation also covered changing global scenario, including Europe and West Asia,” a source had said.
The Bloomberg report claimed the next step in the peace process between India and Pakistan would be reinstatement of envoys in New Delhi and Islamabad. Pakistan has also lately adopted a changed stance with both PM Imran Khan and Army chief General Qamar Bajwa talking of dialogue.
Experts say geopolitical conditions have forced both India and Pakistan to make the joint announcement. “While India needs to concentrate on the LAC despite the disengagement, Pakistan’s economic conditions are prompting them to extend an olive branch,” a former diplomat said. A UK-based research scholar echoed the views saying given its economic status, Pakistan wants to mend ties while New Delhi would like to use its military resources at the LAC.
EAM Jaishankar meets Afghan counterpart
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Afghan counterpart Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Monday held talks with focus on the peace process in Afghanistan, and boosting cooperation in areas of security, connectivity and trade.