Indian and Pakistani armies agree to stick to 2003 ceasefire agreement

Indian and Pakistani armies agree to stick to 2003 ceasefire agreement

New Delhi, May 29 (Indian Express): The Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to “fully implement” the 2003 ceasefire agreement in “letter and spirit” with immediate effect to stop cross-border firings in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Army said the two military commanders reviewed the prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in J&K during a conversation over a special hotline initiated by the Pakistan DGMO at 6 PM.

“Both the DGMOs 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 Indian Army said.

The Pakistan Army also issued a similar statement in which both DGMOs agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation.

“Both DGMOs reviewed the prevailing situation along the Line of Control and 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,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, said in a statement.

The officials also agreed that in case of any issue, restraint will be exercised and the matter will be resolved through utilisation of existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings at local commander’s level.

More than 1,250 ceasefire violations have been recorded in the first five months of this year, compared to 971 such violations in 2017, 449 in 2016, and 405 in 2015, according to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) records.

This year has seen a sudden spike in the number of ceasefire violations after the government declared suspension of operations during Ramzan, officials said.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday had ordered early construction of bunkers along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) to protect people living in those areas in view of increased shelling by Pakistani troops.

According to the ministry, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh is given to civilian victims of cross-border shelling, and damages to house and loss of crop or livestock are paid at the rates prescribed for National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).

(The featured image at the top shows a house in Nowshera in Jammu pock marked by shell fire from Pakistan)