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2003 Ceasefire Agreement

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There has been no direct official response from India to all pakistan`s offers to formalize the ceasefire. With regard to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s four-point offer, which included the formalization of the 2003 ceasefire offer, the reaction of Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was negative. At the same time, she said, “We don`t need four points, we only need one – abandon terrorism.” Similarly, in response to the proposal of Abdul Basit, President of the Indian National Congress, India`s main opposition party, PC Chacko accused Pakistan of these violations and said that Pakistan must “show sincerity” before calling for the formalization of the ceasefire. Pakistan and India agreed to stem cross-border violence in order to respect a ceasefire agreement signed in 2003 between the two nuclear neighbours. But does the head of the army think that a return to the 2003 situation is a good thing in terms of probability? Yes, Hooda says, but with drivers. “Two things have to happen. Before we get back to that situation, we have to put continuous pressure on the Pakistani army for a while. If we do not meet them where it hurts, no strategy will be successful. Second, any new ceasefire agreement must be linked to a significant reduction in infiltration and terrorism from Pakistani soil. If both do occur, I think a new ceasefire agreement is likely and desirable. After all, the Indian army does not want bloodshed. It is our boys who are dying in the LoC.” Following a new Kashmir war in 1965 and the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War (which became independent in Bangladesh), only minor changes had been made to the original ceasefire line. In the Simla agreement that followed in 1973, the two countries agreed to transform the ceasefire line into a “line of control” and to respect it as a de facto border that should not be violated by armed actions.

“Our ceasefire violations are only in counting-terrorism operations. But we have seen that terrorists are disposable things for Pakistan. If the Pakistani army does not suffer, it will not stop the infiltration. Even they will react with violations. But I can assure you that their victims are higher. If we see a decrease in infiltration, we are prepared to consider an absolute ceasefire and return to the 2003 situation. The army has been ordered to conduct operations in the way we deem appropriate,” the army chief said on Friday. On Tuesday, India`s Foreign Ministry announced that the ceasefire had ended at a weekly meeting between Pakistani and Indian military officers. In a statement, the ministry said the agreement applied to the 450-mile line of control as well as the international border between India and Pakistan and the Siachen Glacier. There are several explanations for these events; they range from local military factors at the border to a greater dynamic of internal and external political developments.

But one thing is certain: all these ceasefire violations are taking place because India and Pakistan do not have a formal ceasefire agreement, with clearly defined modalities or standard operating procedures (SOPS) to manage their borders. What currently prevents India and Pakistan from firing into the fire is a “ceasefire offer” from then-Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali in 2003, on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. The official adoption of the ceasefire by India took place a few days later in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan have agreed to abide by a ceasefire effective from midnight tonight along the international border, the line of control and the real land position line (AGPL) in Siachen.” Construction of the barrier began in the 1990s, but slowed down in the early 2000s, when hostilities between India and Pakistan intensified.

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