New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Here is a timeline of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan as given out by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
*In 1998, a composite dialogue was started between India and Pakistan. This was the first time reference of “all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir” was mentioned.
The dialogue had eight subjects:
1. Siachen – to be handled by the defence secretary.
2. Sir Creek – to be handled by surveyor general or additional secretary defence.
3. Tulbul navigation project – to be handled by secretary water resources.
4. Terrorism and drug trafficking – to be handled by home secretary.
5. Economic and commercial cooperation – to be handled by commerce secretary.
6. Promotion of friendly exchanges – to be handled by secretary culture.
7. Peace and security including CBMs – to be handled by foreign secretary.
8. Jammu and Kashmir – under the foreign secretary.
*1999 – Then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Lahore, from where Lahore declaration came.
Kargil war happened in the same year disrupting the talks process.
*2001 – President Pervez Musharraf was invited for Agra summit. Sushma Swaraj said it failed as he was adamant on discussing Kashmir issue first.
*2004-2005 – Discussions on composite dialogue resumed. There was one round of discussions in 2004, and another in 2005. Foreign secretaries held talks which was monitored by foreign ministers of the two countries.
*2008 – Mumbai terror attacks stalled the whole process.
*2010 – Talks started again and it was named “resumed dialogue” instead of composite dialogue. There were minor differences from the composite dialogue, as this time it included counter terrorism, including Mumbai attack trials and humanitarian issues, which was to be overseen by the home secretary.
Along with peace and security, including CBMs, and Jammu and Kashmir, cultural exchanges also came under the foreign secretary.
Other subjects and responsibilities remained unchanged and there were two rounds of dialogue.
*2012 – Talks topped following firing on the border and beheading of an Indian soldier.
*2015 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa. However it was not the composite or resumed dialogue that was restarted. The two sides decided to discuss terror and violence, to delink talks and terror and to create atmosphere for talks, Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.
*July 23, 2015 – India sent a letter to Pakistan inviting their NSA Sartaj Aziz for talks on Aug 23.
*July 24, 2015 – India sent letter to Pakistan asking them for dates for the meetings of DGMOs, and DG BSF and Pakistan Rangers. Pakistan has not yet given a date for DGMO talks, and the date for DG BSF and Pakistan Ranger’s talks was given Sep 6.
*Aug 14, 2015 – Pakistan responded to the letter, sending agenda for talks which were beyond the scope of Ufa statement.
*Aug 21, 2015 – India declared “unilateral imposition of new conditions and distortion of the agreed agenda cannot be the basis for going forward” with the NSA level talks with Pakistan but stopped short of calling off the dialogue.
*Aug 22, 2015 – External Affairs Minister clarified there can be no talks involving “third party” Hurriyat, and Kashmir cannot be on agenda as it is against the spirit of Ufa. The minister invited Aziz to talk not involving these issues.