India, Pakistan engage in ‘back channel’ talks to break stalemate: Report

May 30, 2022

The sources said that the Western powers, including the US and the UK, were also pushing for defusing tension and opening some formal channels of communications between the two South Asian neighbours, The Express Tribune reported.

Islamabad, May 30: India and Pakistan have been engaged in “back channel” talks in order to break the stalemate in the relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, a media report said citing official sources.

The Express Tribune report said that relations between the two countries have remained strained for years now and took a turn for the worse in August 2019 when India revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Since then, diplomatic ties have been downgraded, bilateral trade suspended and there has been no structured dialogue. But even before the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took charge, the two countries were talking to each other, albeit quietly,” the report said.

Those contacts have led to the renewal of the ceasefire understanding in February 2021 and since then the truce is holding, with no major incident of ceasefire violation. But the process could not lead to a breakthrough in terms of resumption of dialogue between the two countries.

Since the new government came to power in Islamabad, there has been a renewed push by the two sides to find some way out.

“Call it back channels, Track-II or behind-the-scene talks, I can only confirm that relevant people in both countries are in touch with each other,” The Express Tribune report quoted of the official sources as saying.

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