The Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan: Structure, Process and Agency
The roots of the Composite Dialogue Process date back to May 1997, when at Male, the capital of Maldives, the then Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif mooted the idea of a structured dialogue or the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP). Based on a compromise approach, the peace process enabled the two countries to discuss all issues including Jammu and Kashmir, simultaneously. Since its inception, the dialogue process has gone through numerous highs and lows in bilateral relations. It has remained susceptible to unforeseen incidents which have derailed the process several times in the past. However, since April 2003 it has progressed steadily till the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks when the dialogue process was suspended for a long time. This paper dwells upon the history of the peace process since its inception in 1997 and examines the progress made in the eight baskets of issues namely, Peace and Security including confidence building measures(CBMs); Jammu and Kashmir (J&K); Siachen; Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project; Sir Creek; Economic and Commercial Cooperation; Terrorism and Drug Trafficking; and, Promotion of Friendly Exchanges in various fields. The analysis of the peace process in this paper hinges on three key questions. First, has any positive change in the mindset of both sides came about over the years due to the peace process? Second, what were the main achievements of CDP? And third, what are the prospects of resolving the pending bilateral issues in future talks?
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