India makes an attempt at peace along LoC; India & Pakistan agree to observe ceasefire

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Updated: Feb 25, 2021 4:27 PM

Even as the India-China disengagement process along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is going on, armies of India and Pakistan on February 24, 2021, have agreed to ceasefire along Line of Control (LOC).

india pakistan tensionIndia and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over past several years with more violations than observance of the pact.

Even as the India-China disengagement process along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is going on, armies of India and Pakistan on February 24, 2021, have agreed to ceasefire along Line of Control (LOC).

A joint statement issued post the discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan has stated that the talks were held in a frank, free and cordial atmosphere. From India Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha, and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria, had discussions over the established hotlines between the two sides.

Both countries had inked a ceasefire agreement in 2003.

What does the Joint Statement say?

The two sides have agreed to strictly observe ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LOC) as well as all other sectors with effect from midnight February 24/25.

The discussions between the DGMOs were held over the established mechanism of hotline contact.

The two sides reviewed not only the current situation along the LOC, but all other sectors. This was done in a “free, frank and cordial atmosphere.’’

And, for achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the border, DGMOs of India and Pakistan have agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.

To resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding, both DGMOs reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised.

What does it mean?

The talks between the DGMOs — a result of talks between the two countries on different levels since the last few months.

India is being “cautiously optimistic’’. Though both sides agree to pull back specialised offensive units that are responsible for carrying out tactical operations, there will not be any let-up in anti-infiltration and anti-terror operations.

These specialised units while operating along the LoC on both sides carry out offensive operations. Pulling these units, means that they will be moving away from the forward positions which are at LoC and can be re-inducted whenever it is necessary.

According to sources, the equations along the LoC have changed over the last few months, with each unit being instructed not to carry out any offensive action.

Though the offensive units are going to be pulled back, the regular soldiers who are there for the anti-infiltration operations will continue to be there.

India has always made an attempt to improve ties with Pakistan. Yet, it is Pakistan which has allowed its infrastructure and its land to be used by the terrorists to launch attacks against India. Each and every time, it has always been Pakistan which has created trouble along the LoC and violated the ceasefire.

So this time, very cautiously the Army is going to keep a watch on the other side and is ready to give a “befitting response’’ to any terror activity from the other side.

What is still not known is if the Pakistan side has given its assurance on closing down terror launch pads and camps along LoC.

How many times have there been ceasefire violations?

Since last year along the LoC — 5,133 instances of ceasefire violations, and 46 fatalities.

In 2021, until January 28, 299 violations, and one fatality.

Views of an Indian Army Officer

Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Lt Col Manoj K Channan (Retd), says, “This is always good news as peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control (LOC) makes life easy for those who stay on either side of the undefined line with both the armies in the eyeball to eyeball contact.”

“During the Pervez Musharraf regime, an agreement was signed to stop the artillery and small arms duels which resulted in serving defence personnel and citizens being killed/maimed. In addition, this was a huge cost being expended along the line of control, which effectively cannot be changed/altered. The Border Action Teams have been exploiting the opportunity to cause damage and gain moral ascendancy over the enemy,” he opines.

Post Uri and Pulwama the Indian Government exercised its right to destroy the agents who carry out terror attacks and have caused collateral, economic and loss to life and limb to the citizens of India.

“The Pakistan Chief of Army Staff has been making peace overtures in public statements and the Indian Government in the ongoing visit of Pakistan Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka, the use of the Indian Airspace was allowed, which reflects in the thawing of the cold winter’ that the Indo Pak relationship has been going through,” Lt Col Channan observes.

Pakistan withdrew its High Commissioner in Delhi and likewise, the Indian High Commissioner was withdrawn.

The Jadhav case needs to be resolved by his unconditional release, as part of its commitment to the citizens of India.

“In the COVID-19 Vaccine diplomacy, India’s neighbours in the region have been the recipient of the Indian vaccine. Pakistan lost out on the opportunity and is dependent on China for the same.

The Pakistan Government has only one task of reigning in the perpetrators of terror and stopping the training camps on its territory.

In conclusion the army veteran says, “The Biden administration in Washington DC is relying on Pakistan to support US interests in Afghanistan. This needs to be observed in the near future.

Pakistan has to remove the trust deficit with India by taking concrete steps and take steps to initiate confidence-building measures.”

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