Indo-Pak Rapprochement 2004: An Update

31 December 2003

India proposes the opening of a road between Munnabao in Barmer district of Rajasthan and Khokharpar in Sind province of Pakistan. (Hindustan Times, 1 January 2004)

1 January 2004

India and Pakistan resume air links; The PIA flight lands in New Delhi on 1 January 2004. (The Hindu, 2 January 2004)

4 January 2004

Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali are engaged in a bilateral dialogue. (The Hindu, 5 January 2004)

6 January 2004

India and Pakistan agree to start the dialogue process in February. (The Hindu, 7 January 2004)

7 January 2004

Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Foreign Minister of Pakistan hopes that the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, proposed by India, would begin before the commencement of the composite dialogue in February. (The Hindu, 8 January 2004)

Humayun Akhtar, Commerce Minister of Pakistan announces that his country is “ready to discuss” on granting MFN status to India (The Hindu, 8 January 2004)

8 January 2004

Pakistan proposes to “declare India as the Most Favorite Nation (MFN) in the civil aviation sector.” (The News, 9 January 2004)

13 January 2004

Advani invites The All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) for talks. (The Hindu, 14 January 2004)

Maulana Abbas Ansari, Chairman of APHC, welcomes the Union Government’s invitation for talks (The Hindu, 14 January 2004)

M. Abdullah Yusuf, Pakistan’s Petroleum and Natural Resources Secretary says that Pakistan may start buying diesel from India as it makes more economic sense. (The Hindu, 14 January 2004)

15 January 2004

Samjhauta Express resumes after two years. (The Hindustan Times, 16 January 2004)

16 January 2004

India and Pakistan resume dialogue on the construction of Baglihar dam over Chenab river. (The Hindu, 17 January 2004)

27 January 2004

The spokesmen of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in Islamabad announce the holding of talks in Islamabad from February 16 to 18, the Joint Secretaries meeting on February 16 and 17, and the Foreign Secretaries meeting a day later. (The Hindu, 28 January 2004)

17 February 2004

India and Pakistan hold a three day talk from 16-18 February 2004 in Islamabad. They agree to work on CBMs at the Foreign Secretaries level in May/June on peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir. This is to culminate in a summit of the two Foreign Ministers some time in August to review the progress. A preparatory meeting of the Foreign Secretaries will precede it. (The Hindu, 18 February 2004)

D. K. Sharma, Commandant of Border Security Force, hands over eight Pakistani youths who strayed across the border to Sher Zaman Khan, Chief of Pakistani Rangers.

18 February 2004

Road Map for India-Pakistan composite dialogue decided. The talks to begin at Foreign Secretaries level in May/June where CBMs on peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir will be discussed. (The Hindu, 19 February 2004)

9 March 2004

Pakistan test fires a 2,000 km-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. (The Hindu, 10 March 2004)

An eight-member Indian team, from the Ministries of Surface Transport and External Affairs, exchange views with its Pakistani counterpart on starting a bus service between Khokhrapur in Rajasthan and Munnabao in Sindh province. (The Hindu, 10 March 2004)

10 March 2004

A meeting held on 10 March over the bus service between Khokhrapur and Munnabao fails to achieve any significant breakthrough. The joint statement reads: "Both sides affirmed their commitment to commence the bus service between Khokhrapur and Munnabao, and agreed to meet again to continue discussions." (The Hindu, 11 March 2004)

26 March 2004

Vajpayee says that only through talks can India and Pakistan resolve contentious issues, including Kashmir, as they cannot afford to waste their human and economic resources in conflict any longer. (The Hindu, 27 March 2004)

5 April 2004

Pakistan proposes talks on nuclear CBMs. (The Hindu, 6 April 2004)

7 April 2004

India and Pakistan decide to postpone the technical level talks on opening the bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. (The Hindu, 8 April 2004)