There have been some positive developments in two major conflicts recently. I am not sure whether these will amount to much as a little progress is often followed by a lot of backtracking. But may be I’ll be proven wrong this time.
In the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan:
- Moderate Kashmiri separatists of the All Party Huriyat Conference have welcomed Indian offers of talks.
- Pakistan and India have declared a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir after many years of constant shelling.
- Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee says he’ll meet Pakistani PM Jamali at a regional summit in January.
Meanwhile, in the Israel-Palestine conflict:
- Israeli army Chief of Staff Ya’alon has criticized government’s hardline security policies.
- Four former directors of Israel’s Shin Bet security service have also been critical of PM Sharon’s policy.
- Israeli PM Sharon has announced plans to evacuate some settlements by summer 2004.
- According to a poll, a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians support the Geneva Accords.
- Colin Powell is meeting the authors of the Geneva Accord in Washington today.
Frankly, I am not very optimistic. I have gotten very cynical and pessimistic about the prospects of peace in both these conflicts. But we’ll see.