Islamabad/New Delhi, Feb 25 (efe-epa).- India and Pakistan Thursday said they have re-affirmed their commitment to the boundary ceasefire and stop cross-border firing in the disputed Kashmir region, where such clashes would kill dozens of people each year.
The military operations heads of the two countries spoke after months of intermittent firing along the Line of Control, the de-facto border, which divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
“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 (Wednesday) midnight,” they said in a joint statement released simultaneously.
According to the statement, the director generals of military operations held talks over the “established mechanism of hotline contact.”
The two sides reviewed the situation along the LoC and all other border sectors “in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere.”
“In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two (army commanders) agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns, which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence.”
India and Pakistan have contested the divided region of Kashmir since their independence from the British ruler in 1947.
They have fought two wars and several minor conflicts over the Muslim-majority territory. The two countries claim the region in full but rule only parts of Kashmir.
India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement along the LoC in 2003.
However, the truce, which remains in effect on papers, has fallen apart due to frequent border clashes that have killed or maimed hundreds of civilians living near the boundaries in recent years.
Both countries accuse each other of initiating the attacks and only using violence as a defensive response.
According to Pakistan, in 2020, India committed 3,182 ceasefire violations, attacks that killed 28 people and injured more than 250.
India alleges that Pakistan violated the truce more than 5,000 times, resulting in 22 civilian and 24 soldier deaths last year. EFE-EPA