Pakistan and India’s militaries agreed to stop cross-border firing along their disputed border in occupied-Kashmir. Gunfire has been frequent in recent months, often killing or maiming people living in the area.
“In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb the peace and lead to violence,” a joint statement said. It referred to the heads of the military operations of the two countries.
The nuclear-armed neighbors signed a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in 2003. However, the truce has been fraying in recent years.
An Indian official said the cessation was partly aimed at easing the fraught situation for civilians living along the border. They are regularly caught in the crossfire.
“We are cautiously optimistic that the violence levels and tensions along the LoC will come down,” the official said. The official declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
But India will not ease up on deployments along the LoC. It aims to stop infiltration or counterinsurgency operations in Kashmir, the official said.
Last summer, Indian and Pakistani troops were locked in frequent fighting in at least two years, amid coronavirus outbreaks.
Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between the neighbors. However, the tension was renewed after New Delhi withdrew the autonomy of the Himalayan region last August. India split it into federally administered territories.
Both countries claim the region in full, but rule only parts.
Indian troops committed more than 2,900 ceasefire violations across the LoC in 2020, said Dawn. It left 33 civilians martyred and another 260 wounded in different parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Indian army also fired at a UN vehicle from Across LoC in December last year.
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