Pakistan, India vow to implement ceasefire agreement

Director generals of military operations from 2 countries agree to undertake measures to improve existing situation
KARACHI, Pakistan: Longtime rivals Pakistan and India have agreed to ensure ceasefire along the borders in line with 2003 ceasefire agreement between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, Pakistani military said on Tuesday.
The understanding was reached between the two director generals of military operations who made a “special” hotline contact on Tuesday to review the prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LoC) — a de facto border that divides the disputed Kashmir valley between the two countries — and the Working Boundary, which separates the two neighbors.
“Both DGs MO (director generals of military operations) reviewed the prevailing situation along the LoC and the Working Boundary and mutually agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders,” a statement from Pakistan army’s media wing said.
The two officials, the statement added, agreed to “fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit forthwith and to ensure that henceforth the ceasefire will not be violated by both sides.”
The two sides also agreed that in case of any issue, restraint would be exercised and the matter would be resolved through utilization of existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings at local commander’s level.
Tensions between the two nuclear neighbors have failed to ease after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Indian-held Kashmir in September 2016 by militants India has claimed had links to Pakistan.
Since then, over 150 civilians and troops from both sides have been killed in border clashes.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
The two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.–AA

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