Pakistan

India and Pakistan open rail link

In another move signifying better relations between India and Pakistan the Thar express train has recommenced service after a 40 year gap, it ceased after the war of 1965. Relations have been improving since peace talks in 2004, but have really started to be notceable in the last few months since the Earthquake.

Considering that just a few years ago, India and Pakistan were both setting off nuclear weaponry, and it looked like India might use Iraq as an excuse to 'settle' the Kashmir dispute, every thawing of relations is a very good thing.

The new Thar Express train will connect the border towns of Munabao in the Indian state of Rajasthan to Khokrapar in Pakistan's Sindh province.

India and Pakistan had previously opened (in 2004) a rail link between Lahore in Pakistan and Amritsar in India.

India and Pakistan at it again

India is to test another missile, and Pakistan has said that they will respond appropriately. The Pakistani FO say that India is a fit case for pre-emptive action and that the world community should take more notice

The US has been investigating possible links between Pakistan and North Korea, the Pakistani media seem to claim that no link was found, though sanctions were imposed on the Khan Research Labs (KRL) (not on Pakistan), though Outlook India says that the sanctions will have no effect, and the Asiatimes is quite concerned about the situation.

Whilst all this has been going on, India has put itself in a very awkward position by not allowing the Hindu villagers in Nadimarg, a village in Kashmir to flee after a massacre. The reasoning says that if the villagers leave then the bandits will have achieved their aim. However, should harm come to the villagers then this would cause a loss of face.

Kashmir

Worryingly, the US have felt it necessary to tell India that the war in Iraq is not a precedent for India to launch a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. Worrying on two counts:

  1. Firstly the obvious point that the US felt that India was considering such a move. This could be a disasterous scenario given the history of the Kashmir region and the fact that the two countries are both nuclear powers.
  2. Secondly, that the US did not consider that a strike on Iraq without UN approval might be used in this way. Consider the end of 2001 and start of 2002. There was widespread international support for the US, at the start of 2003, the US stands alone - something was mishandled badly for that support to wither away in quite the way it did. Exactly what happened is a question for future historians.