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J&K Lens: Guns fall silent in J&K’s LoC- Indo-Pak relations taking turn toward positivities

25/02/2021 at 1:46 PM

Arun  Joshi

After a prolonged years of bitterness and high voltage exchange of gun fire and killing on the two sides of the Line of Control that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan , the two countries have agreed to  put the November 2003 ceasefire back into  effect .

This means that the two armies would halt exchange of gun fire or the ceasefire violations  on the LoC that had led to the loss of life and property on the two sides of the dividing line.

A joint statement released by India and Pakistan after talks between the Director Generals of Military Operations  on Thursday ,  said :  Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements , understandings and  ceasefire along the Line of Control  and all other sectors with effect from mid-night 24/25.Febrary 2021.”

This is a big turnaround in the situation and the relationship between the two armies that had been speaking in mutually hostile terms  because of the ceasefire violations on the LoC that resulted in huge loss of life of soldiers, civilians and property besides raising temperatures between Delhi and Islamabad .

Observers believe that  three major factors seem to have worked – Pakistan must have watched the disengagement process  in eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops have started moving back from their standoff positions , mounting international pressure on India and  Pakistan to resolve their issues through dialogue , and the  new US administration that is interested in de-escalation of Indo-Pak tensions to find an access to peaceful solution to Afghanistan crisis.

 At the end of the year 2020 , the two sides had counted the ceasefire violation incidents and blamed each other for high tension on the LoC and thus causing disturbances in the border areas , that, in turn, had effect on the internal; situation . While it disturbed the internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir as the Pakistan used the ceasefire violations and the firing thereof, to  push in armed terrorists and keep the attention of Indian army divided on defending borders and tackling terrorists in the hinterland , Pakistan used the Indian army’s response at the LoC as an excuse for the little attention at its western borders with Afghanistan .

Now when the two armies have agreed to revive the full spirit of the ceasefire agreement of 2003  that silenced the guns on borders  until 2007 , it is expected that the armies would focus on their respective agendas of tackling terrorism in their countries . India is facing heightened terror activity in Kashmir .

The joint statement also gave sufficient hints that the two sides will continue to resolve their issues earnestly .

The words of the statement were quite pleasing. It said that the DGMOS held their “ their discussions over the established mechanism  of hotline contact , reviewed the situation  along the Line of Control  and all other sectors in a free and frank and cordial atmosphere.”

It also underlined :  “ In the interest of the achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders , the DGMOs agreed to address each other’s core concerns  which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.”

Most important was that the two sides “ reiterated d that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding.”

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.

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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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