India and Pakistan agree to stop cross-border firing in Kashmir

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By: Reuters | New Delhi |
February 25, 2021 1:47:26 pm

Indo-pak cross border firing, India-Pakistan, Indian army, Pakistan army, LoC firing, Kashmir, Indian expressAn official in New Delhi said the cessation was partly aimed at easing the fraught situation for civilians living along the border, who are regularly caught in the crossfire.

India and Pakistan’s militaries said on Thursday that they had agreed to stop firing along the Line of Control ( LoC) in Kashmir, where such gunfire has been frequent in recent months, often killing or maiming people living in the area.

“In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence,” a joint statement said, referring to the military operations heads of the two countries.

The nuclear-armed neighbours signed a ceasefire agreement along the LoC in 2003, but the truce has been fraying in recent years.

An official in New Delhi said the cessation was partly aimed at easing the fraught situation for civilians living along the border, who are regularly caught in the crossfire.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the violence levels and tensions along the LoC will come down,” the official said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

But India will not ease up on deployments along the LoC that aim to stop infiltration or counterinsurgency operations in the Kashmir valley, the official said.

Last summer, Indian and Pakistani troops were locked in their most frequent cross-border fighting in at least two years, amid surging coronavirus outbreaks.

Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between the neighbours, but tension was renewed after New Delhi, last August, scrapped provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to the region and split it into union territories.

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