The first signs of a change were visible just hours after the two armies announced adherence to ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control.
Two days after the Director Generals of Military Operations in India and Pakistan issued a statement reiterating the commitment to ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army said it is implementing the order “in letter and spirit” and expects Pakistan to do the same.
Major General VMB Krishnan, General Officer Commanding, 28 Infantry Division, told The Sunday Express: “We welcome the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. We hope it ushers in an era of peace, security and development in the villages closer to the Line of Control. We also hope infiltration is shut down by Pakistan from across the LoC.”
He said if peace and tranquility holds on the LoC, it will build mutual trust and confidence between the two nations. “It’s the first step towards bringing in normalcy. We have a fair amount of distance to cover.”
The division he commands spans the Tangdhar, Keran, Machil and Gurez sectors along the LoC. Last year, about 80 incidents of ceasefire violations took place in this region.
Major General Krishnan underscored that even firing practice in ranges close to the LoC has been stopped “so that it is not misconstrued on the other side”.
The Army, however, continues to receive inputs about presence of militants from across the LoC and “we are on high alert to foil any infiltration attempt,” he said.
Stating that the situation has been “tranquil” the last two days, the GOC said: “As much as possible, we will try not to retaliate and we hope Pakistan will uphold it (the ceasefire).”
Describing the reiteration of the ceasefire agreement as a significant decision, Major General Krishnan said 300 villages very close to the LoC will benefit from the ceasefire. He said work on community bunkers, taken up by the civil administration, will continue.
On checking infiltration, he said the new situation “enables” the Army to handle it well but, given the rugged mountainous terrain of the area, “infiltration attempts are very much possible”.
While drones had been spotted on this side of the LoC, he said there had been no instance of dropping of weapons. “We shot at them and sent them back,” he said.