Srinagar, Feb 25: In a surprise development, Indian and Pakistani militaries announced on Thursday that they had begun observing a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir from the midnight of February 24.
A joint statement issued by the armies of both countries said the move followed a discussion between India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha, and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria, over their established telephone hotline.
Meanwhile, J&K National Conference, reacting to the development said that it welcomes the move and hopes that ‘the statement will be followed in letter & spirit.’
“JKNC has always been a strong supporter of the Ceasefire along the LoC. This will allow people living along the LoC & IB to go about their normal lives with minimal disruption & risk”, NC spokesperson said.
The latest India-Pakistan move comes at a time when the Indian military is largely focused on the standoff with China in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which emerged in the open in May last year, though there has been no let-up in counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
During their discussion on the hotline, the two sides “reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere”, the joint statement said.
“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,” the statement added.
The DGMOs also “agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence” in the interest of “achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders”.
The two sides further said that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be used to “resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding”.