Srinagar: Kashmir-based political parties on Thursday welcomed the talks between Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan regarding strict observance of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC).
According to a statement issued by the defence ministry, the DGMOs of India and Pakistan reviewed the situation along the LoC and all other sectors in “a free, frank and cordial atmosphere” over the established mechanism of hotline contact.
“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 midnight 24-25 Feb 2021,” the statement read.
The National Conference (NC), while welcoming the statement, hoped that the commitment shared by the two sides is followed in “letter and spirit.”
“JKNC has always been a strong supporter of the ceasefire along the LoC. This will allow people living along the LoC & IB to go about their normal lives with minimal disruption & risk,” a spokesperson of the party told NewsClick.
The talks were also welcomed by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti.
“A big & welcome development that India & Pakistan have agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC. Dialogue is the only way forward if both countries want to stop the unending cycle of violence & bloodshed across the borders and J&K,” Mufti said in a tweet.
The rare talks are seen as a first major let-up in the hostilities between the two neighbours that have spiked since February 2019 as fighter jets from both the countries engaged in a dogfight in Jammu and Kashmir. Tensions peaked as India moved to curtail regional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019 and bifurcated into two union territories to be run federally.
In 2020, according to the data from ministry of home affairs, Pakistan is accused of violating the ceasefire along the LoC at least 5,133 times which has resulted in the death of over 46 persons including civilians. The Pakistan’s foreign ministry accused India of violating the ceasefire for around 3,097 times. These numbers are considered to be highest since the ceasefire between the countries was agreed upon in year 2003.
Sajad Lone of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC), who recently pulled out of the People’s Alliance of Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), however, showed scepticism over the discussions held by the two DGMOs.
“Seemingly Indo Pak detente. Don’t know how long the good will stay only to b replaced by the perpetual bad. Not being negative. But tempted to say. They can play friend and enemies whenever they want. Wish we Kashmiris learn our lessons. And we won’t learn. Never have. Never will,” Lone tweeted.
The statement by the DGMOs, however, was seen as a welcome move by the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who termed the move was in the "right direction."
The APHC said that just as the joint statement correctly points out “that in the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGMOs agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb the peace and lead to violence” "...the Governments of India and Pakistan need to address the core concern of J&K in keeping with the aspirations of its people, which is the cause of conflict and violence in the region," a statement from the party read.