Civilians return to their villages as India-Pakistan agree to uphold the 2003 cease-fire accord

The Line of Control between India and Pakistan has always witnessed extreme hostility with a series of violations of the cease-fire agreement between India and Pakistan. As per reports, this time again, Pakistan’s Major General Shamshad Mirza and his Indian counterpart Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan agreed to “fully implement” the 2003 ceasefire understanding in “letter and spirit.”

Both sides “agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation, ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders.” This came as a breather to as many as 50000 civilians who had taken shelter in schools and colleges in the Indian-ruled part of disputed Kashmir, away from the bombardment that officials say killed 12 people and wounded many more on both sides over the past few weeks.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, in her tweet, welcomed the ceasefire agreement.

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“This brings great relief to the people residing in the vicinity,” she said on Twitter on Wednesday. “Peace on our borders is the first essential step to a larger understanding and I truly hope it sustains.”

The villagers of Jammu Kashmir are on one hand relieved with this decision as they could finally return home, but on the other hand are convinced that this decision would not last for long as they said, such agreements rarely last long.

“They agree to respect the ceasefire several times every year but then they violate it again. Every time people are killed, cattle perish and we end up in such camps,” he said. “We are in camps for the second time this year. We don’t want this uncertainty. We want permanent peace as we had 30 years ago”. as said by Bacchan Lal, the headman of Abdullian village in Jammu and Kashmir.

Tensions between both the side have forever escalated ever since. There have been innumerable such incidences where the two countries have damned each other for breaching the cease-fire contract. It was reported last year that our Indian soldiers, including an Army Major, were killed in the Rajouri district in cross-border firing. The Pakistani military used missiles to target India’s forward posts on the Line of Control (LoC). In retaliation to this, the Indian Army Jawans crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistan Army soldiers.

Almost 15 days later a cross-border operation was carried out on a day when the Indian Army was celebrating the Army Day. In this attack, seven Pakistani soldiers were killed and four others injured in by the Indian Army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch area. This came as a ‘retaliatory action’ as asserted by the Army Chief Bipin Rawat, who said that ‘we will take stronger steps against our enemies if we are compelled to do so.’

Pakistan has been exporting terror to India and indulging in unbridled ceasefire violations along the LoC for a long time. It remains to be seen if Pakistan honours its words this time, or as usual, goes back to its old violent ways again.

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