New Delhi: As per latest military development, India and Pakistan on Thursday announced to strictly follow all ceasefire pacts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir from the midnight of February 24.
A joint statement issued by the armies of both countries stated the move followed a discussion between India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha, and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria, over their telephonic conversation.
The decision comes at a time when the Indian army is largely focused on the standoff with China in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which emerged in the open in May last year, though there has been no let-up in counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
In their discussion on the telephone hotline, the two sides “reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere”, the joint statement read.
“Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 Feb 2021,” the statement further added.
The DGMOs also “agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence” in the interest of “achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders”.
Both the sides also agreed to the existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be used to “resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding”.
Meanwhile, the established convention of weekly contacts between officials of the DGMO of the two countries had continued in recent months despite periodic flare-ups along the LoC. The DGMOs speak on the hotline when there is a specific request from one side, people familiar with developments said on the condition of anonymity.
The relations between India and Pakistan further deteriorated after the Pulwama attack in February 2019 and India’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019.
The Indian side, however, had agreed on the ceasefire but there is still no mention of lowering the guard when it comes to operations to counter infiltration along the LoC or terrorism within Jammu and Kashmir, said one of the people cited above.
“The main idea is to have peace along the LoC so that the local population doesn’t suffer,” the person further added.
Furthermore, the two countries had, in November 2003, agreed along a ceasefire on the LoC but it has been frequently violated in recent years.
On Wednesday, the Indian Army chief, Gen MM Naravane, had reiterated that India wants peace and tranquility along all its borders, be it the LAC, LoC or the frontier with Myanmar.
“With our continuous engagement with Pakistan, we will be able to prevail over them (for border peace)…as unsettled borders help no one,” he told during a virtual seminar.
Naravane had also pointed to the fact that terror launchpads were active across the LoC, and the army will be prepared for a fresh influx of infiltrators in the summer.