LoC Ceasefire Anniversary   

In a sudden move, India and Pakistan armies reached an agreement on February 25 last year to strictly observe all agreements on ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.

Till then, the 2003 agreement between two countries existed only on paper given the volume of violations indulged amid claims and counterclaims about initiation by both the countries.

According to defence minister Rajnath Singh’s statement last year, 4649 ceasefire violations were witnessed in 2020 and many civilians and several army or BSF men were killed on this side. Pakistan, on the other hand, had been blaming the ceasefire on New Delhi and as per the country’s foreign office data, nearly 3000 ceasefire violations occurred in 2020 in which several people were killed while nearly two hundred civilians have been wounded.

These casualties were a natural extension of what was unfolding along the International Boundary as well as the Line of Control for several months in 2020 and prior to it.

Now, that the two countries reached a pact, and it is holding good, it continues to be welcome. Till then both the countries were caught in a spiral of almost daily exchanges of fire along the LoC. There was a danger of no return to the talks table which is dangerous for regional peace. It is more so when the situation along LAC is edgy.

As per the statistics available, the last three years till 2021 had seen increased violations since the ceasefire came into force.

Even thousands of civilians have been forced to flee their homes close to LoC on either side of it, resulting in enormous human sufferings. The psychological impact on the people from these hostilities is huge. There is constant fear and risk of being killed which adversely impacts mental wellbeing, particularly that of women, children, and the elderly. The continuous skirmishes can also be catastrophic for the region. All this makes the need for the talks all more important to address the bitterness or at least reduce it to bare minimum levels.  Now that both countries have continued to hold the truce, it needs to be implemented religiously.

The 2003 agreement was all but a triumph of diplomacy but in the last several years, both the countries have allowed drift which is widening with every day. It however can be arrested through high-level political intervention between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Both countries need to understand the futilities of the war. Let the truce pact flourish.

Related Articles