In Indian-administered Kashmir, militants continued targeting policemen with four killed by suspected militants 17-20 Sept in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian security forces 27 Sept shot dead one civilian reportedly in crossfire during gunfight with alleged militants in Qamarwari area of Srinagar, leading to protests against Indian rule across region. New Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik 12 Sept requested Supreme Court defer controversial legal challenge to Article 35-A of constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents; court deferred hearing. Malik 2 Sept met visiting Defence Minister Sitharaman and army chief Bipin Rawat for talks on security and governance issues, at same time as search operations were ongoing against suspected militants including in Pulwana district. India and U.S. 6 Sept released joint statement calling on Pakistan to ensure its territory is “not used to launch attacks”; Pakistan’s foreign ministry protested. Pakistani military claimed Pakistani civilians killed in firing across Line of Control (LoC, dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir) 4 Sept and 10 Sept. Leader of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Farooq Haider Khan 30 Sept accused Indian troops of shooting at his helicopter while it flew close to LoC; Indian army said helicopter had violated Indian airspace, which Pakistan denied. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry 20 Sept confirmed PM Khan wrote to Indian counterpart Modi 14 Sept calling for resumption of bilateral dialogue on outstanding issues, including disputes over Kashmir and terrorism, and proposed FMs meet during late Sept UN General Assembly; India 20 Sept agreed to talks but cancelled next day; Indian foreign ministry said meeting was called off after “brutal” killing of security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and for issuing postage stamps of Kashmir rebel commander killed in 2016. Indian ambassador to Pakistan 7 Sept expressed optimism about relations under new govt but cautioned “terrorism is a deal breaker”. Tensions also remained over sharing of river waters; Pakistan late Aug reiterated objection to two Indian hydropower projects on Chenab River it claims violates 1960 Indus Water Treaty in bilateral meeting in Lahore. Indian army chief Rawat 24 Sept said India should carry out another “surgical strike” against “terror launch pads” in Pakistan; in 2016 India claimed, and Pakistan denied, that such strikes had taken place.
Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.
Even if India and Pakistan appear willing to allow more interaction across the Line of Control (LOC) that separates the parts of Kashmir they administer, any Kashmir-based dialogue will fail if they do not put its inhabitants first.
When the third round of the normalisation talks concludes in July 2006, India and Pakistan will be no closer than when they began the process in February 2004 to resolving differences, including over Kashmir.
The agreement between Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and India's new prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to continue talks on all contentious issues including Kashmir has inspired optimism about reduced tensions in South Asia.
For half a century Kashmir has been the major issue of contention between India and Pakistan.
More than five decades after independence, Pakistan is no closer to a resolution with India of the dispute over Kashmir.