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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 26 February, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

India Pakistan relations

India Pakistan relations

  • In a first joint statement issued by the two sides in years, India and Pakistan said they have agreed to a “strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors” with effect from the midnight of February 24/25 (Wednesday).
  • The decision was announced after discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGsMO).
  • “The agreement comes in the wake of over 5000 CFVs [cease-fire violations] last year, the highest in 19 years, and this shows the realisation in New Delhi and Islamabad that they cannot afford to let violence spiral out of control given its inherently escalatory nature,”.
  • According to data provided by the Ministry of Defence in Parliament earlier this month, there were 5133 instances of CFVs along the LoC and other areas in Jammu and Kashmir, resulting in 46 fatal casualties in 2020, and 3,479 CFVs in 2019.
  • In May 2018, the DGsMO agreed during a similar hotline conversation to observe the ceasefire strictly, but subsequent tensions over the Pulwama attack, Balakot air strikes and the Article 370 move led to a sharp spike in CFVs.

What is the November 2003 Ceasefire Agreement?

  • It came after a long cycle of violence along the 725-kilometre-long Line of Control (LoC) which divides Jammu and Kashmir into two parts.
  • It followed a framework of military confidence-building measures (CBMs) that kept the artillery pieces at least 20 km away from the LoC, thus promising a sustained halt to heavy firing.
  • On November 26, 2003, the ceasefire took effect along the entire stretch of the India-Pakistan frontier i.e. the IB, the LoC and the AGPL.
  • For the first time in several decades, the guns along this frontier went silent, bringing much-needed respite to the shelling-scarred lives of people in hamlets along the LoC and to soldiers guarding the border posts.
  • It facilitated the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkot routes, paving the way for bus and truck services linking the two Kashmirs for the first time in six decades and encouraging cross-LoC contacts, exchanges, travel, and trade.
  • The ceasefire also enabled India to complete the construction of a fence near the LoC to prevent Pakistan’s infiltration of terrorists into Kashmir, a project that it had begun a couple of decades earlier but had to suspend due to Pakistan’s artillery fire.
  • This ceasefire agreement, reached between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was respected until 2008. From 2008, there were occasional spikes in firing across the LoC. This situation changed in late 2012 – around the time that India began to build additional bunkers along the LoC. Firing across the LoC has now increased.

What is LoC?

  • The 435-mile stretch along the Kashmir divide has been termed the LoC since the 1972 Simla Agreement.
  • What India terms the International Border, and what Pakistan terms the Working Boundary, runs southward from the LoC.


U.S., EU & UN welcomes India-Pak. ceasefire agreement

  • The United States has welcomed the announcement by India and Pakistan that they would observe the 2003 ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).
  • The White House called for the two countries to build upon this progress and the State Department encouraged a reduction in tensions and violence along the LoC
  • Even the UN and EU have welcomed the deal.

What is the role of USA?

  • In response to a question on the role of the U.S., if any, in brokering the agreement between India and Pakistan, Mr. Price did not identify any specific actions but articulated the general U.S. position — a reduction in tensions and a condemnation of cross-border terror as well as a dialogue on Kashmir and other issues.
  • “When it comes to the U.S. role, USA continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern.
  • This is an important step in the interest of regional peace and stability on which to build further bilateral dialogue.

Source: TH


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