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Pakistan, India agree to ‘strictly observe’ ceasefire along LoC

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan and India agreed to observe a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors after talks between the senior military officials through a hotline.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the agreement was reached after the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact.

The statement said the two sides reviewed the situation along Line of Control (LOC) and all other sectors in a “free, frank and cordial atmosphere.”  In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace, the two DGMOs agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.

It further said both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors with effect from midnight 25th February 2021.

The military’s press wing said that both sides reiterated that existing, mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilized to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding.

While speaking to a private channel, Director General ISPR Major General Babar said there has been contact between India and Pakistan on a hotline since 1987. He said the DGMOs of both countries frequently stay in contact through this established mechanism.

He said there was a spike in ceasefire violations along the LoC since 2014. He added that both DGMOs have agreed that the existing 2003 understanding should be implemented in letter and spirit.

The military’s spokesman said both officials have agreed on making it sustainable and have expressed the intention to act on it. He added that there have been more than 13,500 ceasefire violations since 2003 which have claimed the lives of 310 citizens and injured 1,600.

He said that there is a great difference in the number ceasefire violations and casualties between 2003-2013 and after 2014.  He added that 92 percent of the incidents occurred between 2014 and 2021 and that 49 women and 26 children have been martyred in the last four years.

He said that the year 2019 witnessed the most ceasefire violations while 2018 had the most casualties. He added that it has been agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire in letter and spirit after the understanding between the two countries.

Indian troops committed more than 2,900 ceasefire violations across the LoC in 2020 during which 33 innocent civilians have been martyred and another 260 wounded in different parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).