Ceasefire violations along Line of Control have generated a heated debate in Jammu and Kashmir and across India. If one goes by the statements of the people at helm it seems that war is on and situation can take ugly turn any moment. Union Home Minister Susheel Kumar Shinde recently said that "India will give a befitting reply to Pakistan," and ceasefire violations won't be tolerated. The ten year old truce on Line of Control and on borders seems to have given in as tension is in the air.
Pakistan in November 2003 had announced unilateral ceasefire along the LoC and on the borders. The gesture was reciprocated by India which led to the guns falling silent. Announcing ceasefire seemed to be the first step towards the resolution of the vexed Kashmir issue as then President of Pakistan General Parvez Musharaf seemed very particular about it. New Delhi at that point of time gave an impression that it too wants to get rid of Kashmir and wants its settlement once for all. Two years after the ceasefire was announced India and Pakistan decided to open Srinagar-Muzaffarbad Road and none other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi flagged off the historic Karawan-e-Aman bus service from Srinagar. It was followed by the resumption of cross LoC trade.
In the beginning all these steps seemed to be big measures but along with the passage of time these initiatives have lost sheen as on today these look like cosmetic moves which were aimed at buying time. Unresolved Kashmir issue still continues to haunt India, Pakistan and Kashmiris.
During all these years many developments have taken place. Pakistan is in a mess as the fighters there have waged a war against the state. On the other hand New Delhi has hardened it stand on Kashmir and its leaders have made it amply clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and no one can challenge JK's accession with India.
After a decade long ceasefire both the countries have not moved an inch from their stated stands on Kashmir. India claims that it's an integral part while Pakistan says Kashmir is its jugular vein. Present Pakistan Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharief seeking US intervention to resolve Kashmir irked New Delhi. "Kashmir is a bilateral issue and we won't allow any third party mediation," said Indian leaders.
They also referred to Simla and Tashkent agreements to substantiate their claim.
Recent developments indicate that nothing has changed vis-à-vis Kashmir. India and Pakistan have not made any headway towards its resolution. At present situation is back to square one and once again borders and LoC have heated up. Border skirmishes can trigger a full fledged war and it can prove disastrous for both the countries. Kashmiris have been suffering for the past two decades and they have been facing a war like situation. For them war is nothing new but no one in Kashmir wants war. People want peace to prevail but New Delhi's rigidity can once again push Kashmir towards turmoil and ceasefire violations can be the beginning.