Introduction

BANGKOK, THAILAND: Senior delegates from India and Pakistan met for the 22nd Chaophraya Dialogue in Bangkok to discuss prospects and challenges for bilateral relations. They agreed upon the following:

1. An extended period of detente is necessary to help build trust and confidence, which may pave the way for substantive conflict resolution. While war between the two countries is not an option, the relationship remains crisis-ridden. Maintaining peace should be a priority and mutual responsibility, and steps should be taken towards a meaningful and sustained dialogue process.

 

2. The Ceasefire Agreement of 2003 in J&K should be reaffirmed and formalised. Frequent contact between DGMOs of the two countries will be helpful, as will other military-to-military CBMs.

 

3. Concerted efforts are necessary to address the challenge of terrorism and extremism. The possibility of greater intelligence sharing should be explored, and mechanisms such as NSA-level backchannel must be strengthened.

4. Regional trade and cooperation have robust prospects; both sides should also consider engagement on the shared challenges of energy and climate change.

 

5. People-to-people contact has been adversely affected by the downturn in bilateral ties. As a first step, visa regimes should be relaxed for medical and religious tourism, sports and entertainment, and cross-LoC movement.

 

6. Public discourse plays a critical role in shaping the bilateral equation; efforts to temper negative perceptions against each other, especially in the media and on social media is a collective responsibility of all relevant stakeholders.

Participants

Pakistan

Senator Sherry Rehman

Amb Aziz Ahmad Khan

Amb Riaz Khokhar

Mr Zahid Hussain

Gen Isfandiyar Pataudi

Mr Naveed Qamar

Mr Shafqat Mahmood

Mr Ali Dayan Hasan

Amb Jalil Abbas Jilani

Mr Mosharraf Zaidi

Mr Syed Hassan Akbar

Mr Fahd Humayun

Ms Meera Nadeem

India

Prof Amitabh Mattoo

Dr Happymon Jacob

Ms Suhasini Haidar

Mr Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda

Amb Rakesh Sood

Amb Vivek Katju

Amb KC Singh

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain

Mr Siddharth Varadarjan

Mr Firdous Tak

Ms Tanvi Kulkarni

Ms Parul Nadar