The Pakistani and Indian militaries said in a rare joint statement on Thursday. They had agreed to maintain a ceasefire on the disputed border in Kashmir. Both had gunfire hundreds of times in recent months.
The neighboring nuclear powers agreement signed a ceasefire in the Kashmir region in 2003. However, the ceasefire has broken in recent years and the number of killings in near villages of border has increased.
“The two sides have agreed to strictly adhere to all agreements, understandings and ceasefires along the line of control. Also on all other sectors from February 24-25 2021 at midnight,” the joint statement said.
The return of the truce was arranged by the two armed forces, the director general of military operations.
“For the sake of a mutually beneficial and sustainable peace on the border, the two DG&MO agreed to address important issues and concerns that disturb peace and lead to violence,” the statement said.
Since 2014, the number of ceasefire violations has increased significantly. This is resulting in nearly 300 civilian deaths, according to Pakistani military sources.
“In just two months this year, there were 253 violations of the ceasefire which injured eight civilians,” said the source.
India has counted 591 violations by Pakistan since the start of the year.
Kashmir has long been a hotbed of neighbors who claim the territory as a whole but control only part of it. However, tensions continued after New Delhi withdrew its autonomy from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019. It divided into two federally administered territories.
“We are very optimistic that the level of LOC violence and tension will decrease,” said an Indian official in New Delhi. He declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Militaries deployment always maintain at LOC
“The Pakistani and Indian militaries will maintain deployments along the LOC to prevent infiltration and resume counterinsurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley”, the official said.
Politicians in Indian Kashmir lauded promises to return to a ceasefire, one of the few signs of cooperation between neighbors that have waged three major wars since independence in 1947.
“Dialogue is the only way forward if both sides want to stop the endless cycle of violence. And also bloodshed across borders and J&K,” tweeted Kashmiri politician Mehbooba Mufti, citing Jammu and Kashmir.