India, Pakistan armies announce ceasefire: All you need to know
The Indian and Pakistani armies announced on Thursday that they had begun strictly adhering to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir from the midnight of February 24. Here is all you need to know about the announcement:
• In a joint statement, the two armies said the move followed a discussion between India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha, and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria, over their established telephone hotline.
• The two are believed to have spoken on February 22.
• Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on security affairs, Moeed Yusuf, said in an audio statement that the agreement on the ceasefire was the outcome of “behind-the-scenes” contacts and “more roads will open” in the future.
• Yusuf did not elaborate on the nature of these contacts.
• The move comes when the Indian military is largely focused on the standoff with China in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control.
• India and Pakistan had agreed to a ceasefire on the LoC in November 2003. Though the truce largely held over the years, it came under strain after bilateral ties hit a low following the Pulwama attack in February 2019 and India’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August that year.
• Troops from the two sides have regularly exchange fire.
• The DGMOs also “agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence” in the interest of “achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders”.
• The two sides added that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be used to “resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding”.
• The established convention of weekly contacts between officials of the Directorate General of Military Operations of the two countries had continued in recent months despite periodic flare-ups along the LoC.
• The DGMOs speak on the hotline when there is a specific request from either side.