India, Pak to honour 2003 ceasefire agreement

May 31, 2018 04:17 AM
Indo-Pak LOC

After Pak Hotline Chat, DGMOs Agree To Follow It ‘In Letter & Spirit’

New Delhi: In a significant breakthrough after months of bloody cross-border hostilities and firing duels, India and Pakistan agreed on Tuesday to restore peace along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB Indian director-general of military operations Lt Gen Anil Chauhan and his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza decided to “fully implement the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit” after the latter sought “a special hotline talk” at 6pm on Tuesday.

Importantly, the DGMOs agreed that any “issue” will be sought to be resolved through the hotline and border flag meetings. Moreover, the acceptance of the ceasefire does not mean the Indian Army will slacken its robust counter-infiltration measures along the borders, said sources.

The development comes after ceasefire violations in just the first five months of 2018 broke all annual records since 2003. With the truce observed more in breach, the bid to revert to it caught observers by surprise, but follows moves to build confidence over issues like release of fishermen held by either side. The utility of India’s decision to retaliate heavily to Pakistani fire has been debated but if the truce proves durable it will have seen to have delivered some results.

Tuesday’s pact will come as a big relief for civilians in border hamlets, many of whom have been displaced due to the fierce cross-border firings, and comes soon after the Centre declared a unilateral suspension of counter-insurgency operations in J&K during Ramzan.

“Both DGMOs agreed to ensure that henceforth the ceasefire will not be violated. It was also mutually agreed that in case of any issue, restraint will be exercised and the matter will be resolved through utilisation of existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings at local commanders’ level,” it added.

A senior officer, in turn, said the Army’s three-tier counter-infiltration grid to detect and tackle infiltrators will continue as before. “We will not lower our guard. With the ceasefire, Pak will find it difficult to give covering or distracting fire to infiltrators as has been its policy for long,” he said.

The 2003 truce held for some years, but had begun to fray in recent years with the Indian Army stressing the Pak Army-ISI combine had used the interregnum to bolster its anti-India terror machinery.) in Jammu & Kashmir by agreeing to honour the ceasefire pact of November 2003.

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