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US, UN welcome Pakistan, India agreement to re-enforce a ceasefire at the Line of Control

ISLAMABAD: The United States of America (USA) and the United Nations (UN) welcomed Pakistan, India agreement to re-enforce the LoC ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and other border sectors.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing said that the United States welcomes the joint statement between the two nations. “This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia, which is in all shared — is in our shared interest. And we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress,” she added.

On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the development a “positive step” and hoped that it would pave the way for more talks between the two countries.

“The Secretary-General is encouraged by the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan on their agreement to observing the ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and engaging through established mechanisms,” spokesman UN chief said in a statement. He said the secretary-general’s good offices were always available for any member state who would request it.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, also welcomed the agreement, which, he said, “set an example for others and demonstrates the General Assembly’s value.” This decision will also provide an opportunity for further dialogue.

This comes as Pakistan and India have agreed to strict enforcement of the ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC) and other border sectors.

According to the ISPR statement, the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India have contacted and discussed the existing mechanism of the hotline.

The military officials of the two sides held talks over the existing mechanism of the hotline contact and agreed to address the core issues and mutual reservations in the interest of lasting peace, according to the military media wing.

The two-sided also discussed the situation at the Line of Control and other border sectors in the contact.

The two sides reiterated strict implementation of the ceasefire agreements at the LoC and other border sectors from the midnight of February 24 and 25, ISPR said.

“The two sides also agreed to resolve any unexpected situation with the mechanism of the border flag meetings,” according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also welcomed the agreement of strict observance of the ceasefire agreement between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors.

FM Qureshi termed the development as a positive omen and urged India to strictly follow the ceasefire agreement. Pakistan has been highlighting the ceasefire violations at all international forums from the Indian side, which has claimed the lives of many innocent people. “It is a positive development if India sticks to it.”

Earlier, Director General ISPR, Maj. General Babar Iftikhar has said that this contact exists between Pakistan and India since 1987. “The DGMOs come into contact under a mechanism,” he said. “The two sides had reached an understanding for a ceasefire on the LoC in the year 2003,” the ISPR chief said.

“The violations of the ceasefire on the LoC have increased since the year 2014,” he stated.

Over 13,500 ceasefire violations held from the year 2003 till now, in which 310 civilians were killed and around 1600 injured, DG ISPR said.

“The ratio of the ceasefire breaches has been 92 per cent from the year 2014 till 2021,” General Iftikhar said. In the last four years, 49 women and 36 children were martyred and 313 women injured in the ceasefire violations.

“In the year 2019 maximum number of ceasefire violations held, while maximum lives lost in the year 2018,” the DG ISPR said.

Pakistan and India had an agreed regarding the ceasefire on the LoC which had three main points.

Defence construction, new defence construction will not be done within 500 meters of the LoC. However, defensive positions can be maintained. Firing, direct engagement with each other’s posts will be avoided. Flag meeting and hotline contact in which both sides can demand a flag meeting at the level of local commanders to resolve any issues along the LoC. If clarification on any issue is required, it can be sought through a flag meeting or hotline contact.

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