Pakistan and India reached an agreement this Thursday to enforce the ceasefire demanded by both countries in the Kashmir region. The boundary between the two is a common stage for skirmishes, in which soldiers and civilians are injured and sometimes killed.
According to the Pakistani army, the military leaderships of the two neighboring countries have reached an agreement on “strict compliance with all agreements and the ceasefire [da Linha de Controlo] and all other sectors with effect from midnight [de sexta-feira]”. The negotiations between the two armies took place in a “free, open and cordial atmosphere”, according to the same statement.
A ceasefire regime has existed on the border between India and Pakistan since 2003, but it is rarely observed. Last year alone, according to statistics from the Pakistani government, sporadic attacks from India killed at least 28 civilians and injured 257 people across the border.
On the other hand, according to the Indian Ministry of the Interior, Pakistan is accused of 5,133 ceasefire violations, in which 22 civilians and 24 soldiers were killed and 197 were injured.
Since the beginning of the year alone, 175 ceasefire violations have injured eight civilians, says Al-Jazeera.
The promise of both countries to strictly observe the ceasefire is an unexpected and welcome development. The Kashmir claim sparked two of the three great wars that India and Pakistan waged in the 20th century, and countless minor conflicts.
A renewed confrontation loomed in February 2019 after India accused Pakistan of being responsible for a terrorist attack that killed 44 police officers in Kashmir, India. The Indian Air Force bombed parts of Pakistan, which responded with bombing raids.
The tension only eased when Pakistan safely returned a crashed Indian pilot.
Since then, distrust has not been overcome, although there have been no further clashes, and relations between the two former British colonies have hit one of the lowest points in decades.