India–Pakistan –– New Approaches 

An IDC Analysis

New Delhi, 04 Sep 2004

The Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers will meet in New Delhi for two days from September 05. In the past we had several times advocated that there could be some peace and cooperation between the two sides, only when there is a meeting of minds of the Corps Commanders of Pakistan and the Indian military and establishment and when they visit India. 

The foreign ministers are likely to discuss among other things a list of proposals from New Delhi reported in the media covering the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Each one of them makes eminent sense and the hand of India’s NSA and Security  Adviser to the Prime Minister seems to be the driving force as both have great experience in matters of State and where vested interests lie. The proposals not only aim to improve people to people contact but also focus closely on commercial and economic cooperation between India and Pakistan.

However, Pakistan has only hesitatingly responded to most of them till now, saying they are "studying" these proposals. The media is looking forward to the meetings.

Here is a list of these proposals:


  • An Agreement on Peace and Tranquillity along the LoC.

  • Establishing new communication links between the navy at the level of assistant chief of the naval staff (Ops), and air force at the level of assistant chief of the air staff (Ops); Reactivation/re-establishment of communication links at Division/Corps Commander level at Karu (Leh) and Kargil - Gilgit, Baramulla and Kupwara-Muree, Rajouri-Jhelum, Srinagar and Nagrota-Rawalpindi, and Jammu-Sialkot.

  • Implementation of the agreement already reached on June 20, 2004, to upgrade, dedicate and secure the communication links between the DGMOs (Directors General of Military Operations) and setting up of a hotline between the two foreign secretaries.

  • Formalisation of a MOU on establishing communication links between Indian Coast Guards and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency.

  • Develop links and exchange of visits between the armed forces through: exchange of visits by naval ships; seminars between academic and research institutions dealing with strategic and defence related issues, like Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (India) and IIS (Pakistan); exchanges/lectures/seminars between defence training establishments like National Defence Colleges; friendly tournaments (squash/tennis/golf/yacthing etc) and joint adventure activities (sailing yachts/hand gliding/mountaineering, etc) between the two militaries; exchange of military bands.

  • The DGMOs of the two countries could meet periodically, which could be followed by an annual meeting between two VCOAS.

  • The restoration of strength of the two high commissions to the original level of 110.

  • The re-establishment of the consulates general in Karachi and Mumbai as early as possible.

  • Agreement of both sides to release all apprehended fishermen in each other's custody.

  • Operationalisation of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus route through early technical discussions.

  • Opening of the Jammu-Sialkot route.

  • Mechanism for permitting border/cross Line of Control (LoC) trade at selected points.

  • Mechanism for allowing interaction at some selected points between people on both sides of the LoC.

  • Mechanism for permitting pilgrimage on both sides, including to Sikh and Hindu temples and Muslim shrines such as the Sharda Temple, Pir Chinnasi and Gurudwara Chatti Patshashi, either by including these in the existing protocol on Visits to Religions Shrines of 1974 or through some other arrangement.

  • Promote cultural interaction and cooperation. Work for joint promotion of tourism in the area.

  • Explore cooperation on issues such as management of environment, forestry resources, etc.


  • Exchange of artists, writers, poets, musicians, painters and sculptors-

  • nvitation to artists from Pakistan to participate in 11th Triennale-India exhibition being organised by Lalit Kala Akademi in January-February 2005;

  • Invitation to painters from Pakistan for the International Painters Camp from SAARC Nations being organised by Lalit Kala Akademi in February-March 2005 at Hyderabad. Pakistan can consider sending two of its reputed painters to this camp.

  • Liberal visa regime for performing artists, film personalities.

  • Exchange of theatre groups. Invitation to theatre groups from Pakistan to participate in 7th Bharat Rang Mahotsav being organised by the National School of Drama on January 5-20, 2005.

  • Exchange of exhibitions - paintings, sculpture, photographic, handicrafts, musical instruments.

  • Exchange of publications, recorded music, slides etc.

  • Interaction between National museums of the two countries in mutually agreed areas.

  • Participation in book fairs/exhibition in each other's country. Interested publishers/book sellers from Pakistan could participate in Delhi Book Fair to be held in August 2004.

  • Cooperation amongst libraries.

  • Holding joint seminars in the field of elementary education.

  • Promotion of interaction between India's University Grants Commission (UGC) and Higher Education Commision of Pakistan.

  • Holding a joint workshop in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants.

  • Cooperation and exchange between institutions of excellence on reciprocal basis.

  • Exchange of youth delegations. A delegation of young persons from Pakistan could participate in the National Youth Festival to be held in January 2005.

  • Both sides to exchange sports persons, team and coaches.

  • Pakistan to remove ban on Indian TV channel in Pakistan. There is no ban on Pakistani TV channels in India.

  • Pakistan to remove ban on Indian newspapers and periodicals.

  • Holding of film festivals.

  • Setting up Joint Working Group to tackle the issue of piracy of India films and music in Pakistan.

  • Annual seminars between groups of journalists in areas of mutual interest, with involvement of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.

  • Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) could start group tours to specific places of tourist interest.

  • A special 14-day visa for tourists to be introduced.

  • Exchange/cooperation between Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and their Pakistani counterpart.

  • Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan could visit India and the invitation of the Election Commissioner of India to share each other's experiences.

  • In consonance with the decision reached at the foreign secretary level talks on June 27-28, 2004, in New Delhi, both sides to exchange lists of civilian prisoners in each other's custody and initiate steps to release them at an early date.

  • Amend the 1982 Protocol of Consular Access in order to increase the number of jails for providing consular access.

  • n order to implement the agreement as reached in the Joint Statement of June 28, 2004, both sides to release all apprehended fisherman along with their boats in each other's custody.

  • Pakistan requested to make another effort to trace and release the 54 Indian Prisoners of War in Pakistan custody.

  • Following visa liberalising measures could be considered on reciprocal basis:
    - Grant of one year multiple-entry visas to bona fide businessmen who are recommended by recognised apex chambers of commerce, and different port of entry and exit to be allowed.
    - Grant of exempt from police reporting (EPR) visas as far as possible to journalists, artists, students, scholars, businessmen recommended by the recognised apex champers of commerce, person working with multinational companies, senior citizens (65 years and above) and children (up to the age of 12 years). 
    - Grant of visas to eligible reputed artistes with the permission to give commercial performances. 
    - Introduction of a provision for "Student Visa" on a case-to-case basis.
    - Introduction of a provision for "Conference Visa". 
    - Facility for people to come on "study tours" to India. This would be in groups.
    - Facility of travel to India by groups from Pakistan for tourism purpose. 
    - Both sides to hold visa camps in cities other than the capital. 

  • 47.   The existing protocol of 1974 be amended to include more shrines in both countries. These could include: 

  • In Pakistan: Samadhi of Baba Bhuman Shah (Okara); Dev Samaj Temple (Lahore); Hazrat Bari Imam (Islamabad); Nirankari shrine (Islamabad); Sheetala Mata Mandir (Lahore); Sadhu bela (Khanpur) and Mirpur Mathelo (Sukkur); Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh (Lahore); Prahaladpuri Temple (Multan); Pir Giarwienwala shrine (Multan); Sakhi Sarwar Shrine (DG Khan); Parnami shrines (Sahiwal); Mata Hingla's Shrine (Baluchistan) 
    In India: Shadani Darbar (Raipur, Madhya Pradesh); Boo-Ali Shah Qalander (Panipat); Hazrat Ahmed Shah (Lucknow); Hazrat Imam Nasiruddin (Sonepat); 
    The size of the pilgrim group could also be increased from - 3000 to 5000 on the occasions on Baisakhi and birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev; 1000 to 2000 on the occasion of martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev; 500 to 1000 on the occasion of barsi of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.


  • India continues to extend Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan. Pakistan should reciprocate by granting MFN Status to India.

  • Grant of transit to each other's goods on reciprocal basis.

  • Two sides could consider opening of Attari-Wagah land route for trade.

  • Promotion of investment in joint ventures in identified sectors.

  • Participation in trade fairs/exhibition.

  • Undertake measures to tackle rampant piracy of Indian music and films in Pakistan.

  • Laying down/extension of optical fibre cable from Attari to Lahore.

  • Facilitate counterpart arrangement between the mobile operators on the two sides.

  • Participation of Indian companies in telecom projects in Pakistan.

  • Allow multiple airlines for operations of the scheduled services on a reciprocal basis.

  • Allowing the designated carriers of Pakistan seeking to have air connectivity with India, seven flights a week to one international airport and than seven more flights to a second international airport, on a reciprocal basis.

  • Amendment to the 1974 Protocol on Resumption of Shipping Services between India and Pakistan; Deleting article 3 thereby allowing third country flag ships/vessels to lift India/Pakistan bound cargo; Deleting article 5 thereby allowing flag carriers of both countries to lift cargo for third country from each other's ports.

  • Supply of petroleum products, including diesel, from India to Pakistan and possibility of extending diesel pipeline to Pakistan.

  • Exchange of experience and exploitation of commercial opportunities in the CNG sector.

  • Participation of Indian companies in exploration and production activities in Pakistan, both on shore and off shore.

  • Harmonisation of customs procedures and valuation, and standardisation and quality control measures.

  • Cooperation between SEBI and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

  • Cooperation in the field of information technology, especially IT enabled services, e-commerce, e-governance, IT education, manpower training, holding joint seminars/workshops, IT and electronics hardware, etc.

  • Introducing SALMAIL between India and Pakistan.

  • Bringing out a joint commemorative stamp.

  • Exchange of philatelic exhibitions.

  • Explore the possibility of opening branches of the nationalised banks in each other's country on a reciprocal basis.

  • Collaborate in post-harvest technologies, including exchange of information and experts on development of processing units/scientific research, production, marketing and exports.

  • Exchange of information and experience in the field of planning, construction, operation and maintenance of projects in the water resources sector.