Pakistan and India have battled each other since they became independent nations in 1947. The latest of these battles over the Kashmir border area and who is the bigger nuclear power, has left the entire area in a tense and frightened state. Then came the earthquake on October 8, 2005 which destroyed so much and killed so many. In an act that would have been unheard of just a month ago, the Indian and Pakistan governments have decided that the victims of the earthquake are more important than their on-going feud.
MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan (AP) - In another sign of growing cooperation between South Asia's nuclear rivals, India and Pakistan on Saturday proposed setting up aid camps along their disputed border in Kashmir, allowing earthquake victims to cross the frontier for medical treatment.Could this be a step towards peace in this area, or is it just a temporary pulling together until things get back to normal? I, for one, am hoping for the step towards peace. Can you imagine what it would be like to have peace in that area? What it would do for the surrounding countries not to live in a constant fear that Pakistan and India would "push the button" against each other?
India suggested setting up three camps in the quake-hit zone of Kashmir that would provide food, drinking water and tents to Pakistani victims.
Pakistan made its own proposal hours later, suggesting five points along the disputed border for setting up aid camps and saying those visiting its portion of Kashmir would be allowed through immediately if they had proper travel documents, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
Islamabad had reacted cautiously to New Dehli's announcement, saying the two sides would have to meet to discuss the proposal, which followed calls from Pakistan's president to open up the heavily militarized frontier for Kashmiris seeking relief. AP