India, Pakistan armies agree to ceasefire along LoC from Feb 24 midnight
The two sides agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence
In a significant development, the armies of India and Pakistan have agreed to cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors from the midnight of 24-25 February.
According to a joint statement issued today, the decision followed discussions between the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMos) of both sides over the established mechanism of hotline contact.
"Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 Feb 2021," it said, referring to the discussions between Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha and his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria.
The two DGMOs reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere, the joint statement said.
"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," the statement noted.
During the discussions, both sides reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised "to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding".
According to figures provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Pakistan carried out 5,133 ceasefire violations across the International Border and the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, the highest number of incidents of unprovoked firing in recent years.
This was a sharp spike from the 3,479 ceasefire violations in 2019 and 2,140 such incidents in 2018.
Senior officers of the Indian Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and central armed police forces (CAPFs) have maintained that these ceasefire violations are usually intended to provide cover fire to terrorists waiting to infiltrate from Pakistan.