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Kashmir: after Imran’s peace overture, India- Pakistan agree to follow all ceasefire pacts

A day after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called for a dialogue with India, the two South Asian nuclear rivals on Thursday agreed to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the Line of Control and other sectors in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a joint statement on Thursday the decision on ceasefire was taken at a meeting between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan.
The joint statement noted that the DGMOs held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact and reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a “free, frank and cordial atmosphere”.

India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over the past several years with more violations than the observance of the pact.

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

“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 of February 24/25,” the joint statement said.

In Sri Lanka, Imran Khan had said that Kashmir was the only issue between India and Pakistan, and the only way to resolve to solve the dispute was through talks. Early this month, Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa had made a similar remark.

They also reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding, it added.

According to India’s home ministry, a total of 10,752 cases of ceasefire violations have taken place along the border with Pakistan in the last three years, in which 72 security personnel and 70 civilians were killed.

Last week, the armies of India and China which have been engaged in a border standoff in eastern Ladakh concluded the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region.

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