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Indian and Pakistan armies exchange sweets at LoC revive spirit of goodwill after five years

13/05/2021 at 6:45 PM

By Arun Joshi

On  Thursday on the occasion of festival of Eid-ul-Fitr that marks the end of the  Muslim  holy month of Ramadhan , Indian and Pakistani armies revived the spirit of the bonhomie by exchanging sweets at three crossing points at the Line of Control  that divides J&K between India and Pakistan.

This marks the end to the years of hostility  when  due to the heavy shelling at the LoC by the two armies resulted in casualties on both sides , and they had suspended exchange of greetings and sweets  on the festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Zuha, Diwali and Holi.  Today, it was revived  with both the armies wishing each other  and pledging to maintain peace on the borders., something that promises peace on the dividing line being a lasting affair.

The  Sweets were exchanged at the  crossing points of Teetwal in Kupwara district , and  at  Kaman bridge  that connects the Indian Kashmir to Pakistan occupied Kashmir on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road , and Poonch-Rawlakot in Jammu region . The army has distributed pictures in which soldiers of the two sides are seen exchanging smiles and sweets .

Army spokesperson in Srinagar said that this was to revive the old-tradition of wishing each other  on the festivals .

Barring a ceasefire  violation incident  at international border in Ramgarh Sector in Samba district of Jammu region  early this month , the borders have been quiet. Not even a single shot has been fired at  the 746- KM Loc that rises from  Chicken Neck area  of Jammu to  the trans-Himalayan heights in Ladakh passing through the Pir Panchal range of Jammu  and Kashmir region. The ceasefire on the LoC was reinstated on  February 24 , and both the countries had issued a joint statement to this effect.

It was on November 26, 2003 – the day of Eid-ul-Fitr when the two armies had first  entered into ceasefire agreement after several years of heavy shelling at the LoC and also after having fought the Kargil War  in the summer of 1999. That had deteriorated relations between the two countries which suffered further following the  terrorist assault on  the Indian Parliament  that resulted in the mobilization of the Indian army to borders. Pakistan, too, had brought its soldiers to an eyeball-to eyeball situation on the borders.

This ceasefire was also known as Eid ceasefire , essentially because it had come into effect on the Muslim festival in  November 2003.

But after the  firing and shelling assumed almost mini-war like situations in 2016 , the exchange of greetings and sweets was suspended . In 2016, Pakistan had sponsored   a terrorist attack at Uri army camp in September  that year. Twenty Indian soldiers had died. The things  worsened further when  Pulwama terror attack took place  on February 14, 2019, in which 40 CRPF personnel; had died. The terror attack had led to India retaliating with bombarding the terror training camps in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

About the Author:

Arun Joshi is a senior journalist based in J&K. He has worked with Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express and The Tribune.

He has authored “ Eyewitness Kashmir: Teetering on Nuclear War” and three other books.


This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com

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