‘Pak, India must prevent tripping of nuclear wire`

The two countries have extended the validity of their previous agreement to reduce the risk of accidents relating to nuclear weapons for another five years.

Islamabad: Talks between Pakistan and India to avert conflict is a step in the right direction, said a daily while observing that "the criticality of arrangements to ensure that there is no tripping of the nuclear wire cannot be underscored enough".

An editorial in the Daily Times Thursday said that the two countries had a history of hostility and conflict and three wars had been fought in a span of 50 years.

In such a scenario, "confidence-building measures (CBMs) to avert future military and nuclear conflict between archrivals Pakistan and India are a step in the right direction", it said.

Two-day talks were held here on nuclear CBMs. The two countries have extended the validity of their previous agreement to reduce the risk of accidents relating to nuclear weapons for another five years.

During the talks, Pakistan proposed moving heavy artillery 30 km away from the Line of Control (LoC).

"However, while this proposal may be a good one for ensuring peace in that region, it is ineffective unless complemented with a raft of other agreements drawn up to dissipate the tensions between the two sides," the editorial said.

It suggested making the LoC "porous so as to ease trade and travel across it".

"The way forward to preserving peace along the divide is by encouraging people-to-people contact through a liberalised visa regime, thereby making it a meeting point..."

The editorial went on to say that if "we are to live with weapons of mass destruction in a region with a volatile history, the criticality of arrangements to ensure that there is no tripping of the nuclear wire cannot be underscored enough".

"Together with the recent MFN status awarded by Pakistan to India and the meetings between the foreign ministers and prime ministers of the two countries, the CBM talks represent a sea change in the hitherto frozen state of affairs between the two countries since the 2008 Mumbai attacks as India has come back to the negotiating table and understood the need for mutual dialogue," it added.

IANS

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