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Politics

Nobel no panacea for India-Pakistan tensions

NEW DELHI -- The sharing of this year's Nobel Peace Prize by an Indian and a Pakistani, which had raised hopes of improved ties between their quarreling homelands, may have ended up only highlighting the severity of the conflict.

     The two South Asian countries have fought three wars since gaining independence in 1947. When India carried out a second nuclear weapons test in 1998, Pakistan countered with its own test, leading to an arms race.

     Dialogue on the disputed Kashmir region has been on hold since 2008, after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

     Some, including the Nobel Committee, had hoped that honoring India's Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai could help thaw frosty relations. Yousafzai had called on the heads of both nations to attend the award ceremony Wednesday in Oslo, Norway.

     But it looks like neither leader will show up. Satyarthi said he did not mention the ceremony when meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

     The response was even chillier in Pakistan. Yousafzai has suffered a backlash for being "anti-Islamic," and many also think that her activism has hurt Pakistan's global image.

     The deep rift between India and Pakistan, with its complex religious, ethnic and historical roots, cannot be bridged by a Nobel Prize alone.

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