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Hopes of diplomacy: India's then Foreign Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, left, met his Pakistani counterpart Gohar Ayub in 1997
 
Diplomatic push
Summary
India and Pakistan set up low-level meetings to defuse tension over Jammu and Kashmir. The diplomatic push became more concerted a year later and an agenda for peace talks was agreed on. Also in 1997, Pakistan suggested that the two sides meet to discuss restraining nuclear and missile capabilities.
In full
In 1996, Pakistani and Indian military officers met on the Line of Control dividing the state of Jammu and Kashmir to ease tension after clashes.

The celebrations of 50 years of independence in 1997 in both countries coincided with a surge in diplomatic activity. During 1997, Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers met in Delhi.

After a second round of talks in Islamabad, they announced an eight-point agenda for peace talks, including discussion of the Kashmir issue. Although the talks ended in stalemate, both sides promised to meet again.

In a speech at the UN, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered to open talks on a non-aggression pact with India, proposing that both nations strike a deal to restrain their nuclear and missile capabilities.

In 1988 India and Pakistan had signed an agreement not to attack each other's nuclear facilities.

India has consistently rejected any third party mediation to help end Kashmir border clashes, saying differences should be solved in bilateral talks, according to the 1972 Simla agreement.

The 1980s had seen some diplomatic discussions aimed at resolving outstanding differences, between India and Pakistan. In 1982, the two rivals began unsuccessful talks on a non-aggression treaty. However, in 1984 Indian troops were airlifted to the Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir which increased tension in the area.

Pakistan retaliated by fortifying the glacier from its side of what has become known as the world's highest war zone.



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