India and Pakistan militaries have strictly agreed to observe a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and other agreements, according to a joint statement on Thursday.
The decision was taken at a meeting between the Director-General of Military Operations(DGMO) of the Indian and Pakistani military on Thursday morning. India’s Director Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha and his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria held a discussion over a hotline between their offices.
The joint statement said that both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors, with effect from midnight on Friday.
The move is 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 peace and lead to violence, said the statement.
The ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control was signed by India and Pakistani in 2003, but it has been frequently violated by both sides, resulting in civilian and military casualties. Last year, the cross-firing killed at least 28 civilians and wounded 257 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
According to Pakistan foreign official, Indian forces have violated the ceasefire at least 175 times since January 1. While Pakistan military forces have violated at least 5, 133 times, resulting in the death of 22 civilians and 24 soldiers as well as 197 injuries, India’s home affairs ministry submitted.
Sources close to government officials said that they are cautiously optimistic that violence levels and tensions along the de-facto border between two countries will come down. India will not ease up on deployments along the borders, aiming to stop infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, the said official told news agency Reuters.
Amid surging coronavirus outbreaks, the two countries were locked in their most frequent cross-border fighting in at least two years.