Sunday, April 11, 2021

India, Pakistan agree to stop cross-border firing in Kashmir


tiamin rice

India and Pakistan’s militaries said, on Thursday, that they had agreed to stop firing along their disputed border in Kashmir.

Such gunfire has been frequent in recent months, often killing or maiming people living in the area.

“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 the peace and lead to violence,’’ a joint statement said, referring to the heads of the military operations of the two countries.

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The nuclear-armed neighbours signed a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) – the de facto border in the Kashmir region – in 2003 but the truce has been fraying in recent years.

An official in New Delhi said the cessation was partly aimed at easing the fraught situation for civilians living along the border, who are regularly caught in the crossfire.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the violence levels and tensions along the LoC will come down,’’ the official said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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But India will not ease up on deployments along the LoC that aim to stop infiltration or counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir valley, the official said.

Last summer, Indian and Pakistani troops were locked in their most frequent cross-border fighting in at least two years, amid surging coronavirus outbreaks.

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Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between the neighbours, but the tension was renewed after New Delhi withdrew the autonomy of the Himalayan region last August and split it into federally administered territories.

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Both countries claim the region in full but rule only parts.


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