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last month is already looking less like an ice-breaker than a delay in the inevitable breakdown of relations between

the two countries. In recent days, India has stepped up its propaganda efforts against Pakistan, alleging violations across the Line of Control. Singh has put all the blame on awa!"s shoulders, essentially accusing him of not abiding by the agreement between the two leaders to maintain the ceasefire along the LoC. Pakistan has predictably fired back by claiming that most of the unprovoked firing has come from India"s side. Pakistan has claimed unprovoked Indian firing, mainly in the Sialkot sector. It has killed and in#ured mostly civilians. $he incidents continue to be reported with India claiming %&& LoC violations in %&'( while Pakistan saying it faces regular attacks across the border. $here is obviously no way of independently verifying all these claims. )ut the situation on the LoC has become so bad that even the traditional e*change of sweets on +idul ,!ha between soldiers of the two countries did not take place. -n a more concrete level, the suspension of bus services across the LoC has affected thousands of families who are separated by the de-facto border. $he countries must realise that increasing tensions along the LoC have an impact on people who have nothing to do with power plays and geopolitical strategic gamesmanship. $he hyping of incidents beyond measure ends up causing more damage to hopes of peace than the original incidents ever could. It is also clear that the mechanisms established in the past to prevent #ust such a situation from arising have not really worked. $hese also included regular e*changes between the directors general of military operations on both sides and hotline links between those on the ground. It is unclear to what degree hawks, most notably in India, are playing up things as that country moves towards a general election. )ut, at all costs, we need peace to win. .or this to happen new means must be found to tackle the LoC issue and ensure any goodwill the top leadership of both countries have trickles lower down the ranks. Peace between the two countries is vital to the region, and methods to prevent it from being disrupted must be found. $he LoC is impossible to defend from all infiltration and so if blame has to be apportioned for any unauthorised movement across the border, it needs to be shared e/ually. India, as the prime instigator of the war of words, needs to realise that the cause of peace is not helped by belligerence. $his may consume the entirety of the Pakistan-India relationship and whatever progress had been made on economic and political fronts over the last two years. Progress that awa! Sharif has always said he is keen to continue. Singh must ratchet down the tension and rely on diplomacy, not aggression.