India and Pakistan’s militaries said today that they have agreed to stop firing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, where such firing 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 both countries.
India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (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 LoC, 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 told news agency Reuters, 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 counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir, 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.