Pakistan in good will gesture started crackdown on organisations who were involved in Kashmir freedom struggle. Meantime Musharraf suffered two assassination attempts but escaped unhurt. Pakistan started the dialogue process with India and slowly moved towards the resolution of issues including Kashmir and others. But in 2008 relations between India and Pakistan suffered a huge blow because of Mumbai attacks. The Indian government and the media outright blamed Pakistan for those terrorist attacks and the situation got worse. Both countries were again on the edge and there was total breakdown in the dialogue process.
Under the PPP government relations between both countries are again on track. Pakistan allowed Indian goods to Afghanistan; the possibility of MFN status and exchange of good will gestures by both states would improve relations. But if we want a long-term viable relationship between the two states then we have to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir, Siachen, sir creek, water disputes, and terrorism.
On the one side, India is carrying out dialogue with Pakistan for peace, on the other it is modernizing its overall military machine and creating a huge conventional disparity. Such policies would provoke an arms race in the region. Suspicion and mistrust between both states would further jeopardize the already fragile relations. It is necessary for regional peace that the two countries resolve their outstanding issues for long term peace and stability of south Asia.
The author is Research Fellow at South Asian Strategic Stability Institute Islamabad and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org