|[Published: Friday June 01 2018]
Pakistan, India agree to fully implement 2003 truce deal in Kashmir
New Delhi/Islamabad, 01 June. - (ANA) - The military chiefs of Pakistan and India have agreed to "fully implement" a ceasefire deal struck in 2003 and stop the recent cross-border exchanges of fire in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
The agreement between the two rival countries' director generals of military operations (DGMOs) came after the two military commanders reviewed the persisting situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir regions during a Tuesday evening conversation over a special telephone hotline, the Indian army announced.
Following the hotline contact, which was initiated by Pakistani DGMO Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, he and his Indian counterpart Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan issued statements declaring that both sides had agreed to execute the 15-year-old truce agreement in its entirety.
"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," said the Indian army statement.
"It was also mutually agreed that in case of any issue, restraint will be exercised and the matter will be resolved through utilization of existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and Border Flag Meetings at Local Commanders' Level," the Indian army statement further said.
In a similar statement, the Pakistani military also said both military commanders had agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation to guarantee peace and avoid the infliction of further hardship on the civilians along the borders.
According to India's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) records, 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.
Tensions between the two nuclear states soared after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in September 2016 by an armed group New Delhi accused of having links to Islamabad.
Since then, over 150 civilians and troops from both sides have been killed in border clashes.
New Delhi has deployed nearly 500,000 soldiers to the disputed region to further boost the security of the borderline and enforce a crackdown on pro-independence demonstrations in its share of Kashmir, where anti-India sentiments runs high.
Kashmir lies at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute since India and Pakistan partitioned and became independent in 1947.
Cross-border frictions have recently flared up between troops from the two neighbors along the disputed de facto border in Kashmir. The two sides have accused each other of provocation.
New Delhi and Islamabad both claim the region in full, but rule parts of it. Pakistan administers one-third of Kashmir, with the remaining two-thirds under India's control. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/01 June 2018 - - -