In a sudden and significant move aimed at reducing tensions, Indian and Pakistani armies announced on February 25 this year that they would adhere to cease fire across the LoC, originally agreed upon in 2003.
As articulated by both army and police, there has been a significant improvement in the situation on ground in J&K.
In all these eighteen weeks, thousands of people living along the LoC and international border are relieved. The truce is always welcomed by people living or troops manning the LoC or IB.
The sudden joint announcement by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan surprised people and political commentators alike. As always, nothing happens without a reason in the world of bilateral ties. Apparent rationale and the speculation suggest that New Delhi was forced to engage with Islamabad by the prolonged tensions along the LAC with China. Pakistan on the other side is also embroiled in internal affairs amid changing world order. On top of it, there is also the long arm of the United States of America, under a new president. The world’s super power could well be pushing for an easing of the peevish ties between the nations so that it can devote its energies in a bid to ensure peace in the region as well as counter China.
The ceasefire has meant a new lease of life for the people living along the LoC. Hostilities, apart from claiming life and property, also force many families to migrate, leaving everything behind for survival. While the ceasefire rejuvenates hopes of the displaced families to return to their hearth and home, the thaw should bring tangible political results. The neighbours need to fall back on diplomacy to break the ice in all these years. Perhaps it will do both countries well to renounce optics and concentrate on a means that will ensure peace and solution to the issues between them. Some political commentators demand that the nations need to fall back on the framework provided by former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf and former BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had agreed that negotiations on peace must be supported by a scaffold of three principal pledges: Pakistan’s assurance not to support cross-border militancy; India’s willingness to adopt a supple stance on Kashmir and the renewal of a series of confidence-building measures. It is hoped that peace prevails on the restive zero line and eventually lead to breaking ice in the ties between these nations. Here is hoping that reported back channel talks between the two countries meet the success.