Pakistan Army shoots down Indian military chief’s claim on Kashmir truce
DG ISPR says no side should misconstrue the truce as its strength or other’s weakness
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The Pakistan Army on Friday outrightly rejected the Indian army chief’s claim that the ceasefire along with Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir was holding because Delhi negotiated it from a position of strength, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Pakistan Army’s media wing trashed the Indian army chief’s claim as “clearly misleading”.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general Major-General Babar Iftikhar in his tweet said the ceasefire had been agreed only due to Pakistan’s concerns for the safety of people of Kashmir living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).
He further said that no side should misconstrue it as their strength or other’s weakness.
Indian COAS claiming LOC ceasefire holding because they negotiated from position of strength,is clearly misleading. It was agreed only due to Pak’s concerns 4 safety of ppl of Kashmir living on both sides of LOC. No side should misconstrue it as their strength or other’s weakness— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) February 4, 2022
Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane had made the claim on Thursday in an address at an online seminar.
Pakistan and India had agreed for a renewed ceasefire along the LOC in Jammu and Kashmir in February last year and barring a few violations, the agreement is holding much to the relief of residents and farmers living close to the LOC.
The surprise announcement had been made in a joint statement by the militaries of the two countries on a ‘hotline contact’ between their directors general military operations (DGMOs).
The conversation between Pakistani DGMO Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria and his Indian counterpart Lt Gen Paramjit Sangha was described as “free” and “frank” and held in a “cordial atmosphere”.
According to the agreement, the ceasefire violations at the LoC had ended from midnight of Feb 24 and 25, 2001. “Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors, with effect from midnight 24/25 February 2021,” said a statement released then.
Pakistan and India had in November 2003 agreed to ceasefire along the LoC and the Working Boundary. The agreement held for a few years, but regular violations have occurred since 2008. A sharp spike in the truce breaches has, meanwhile, been witnessed since 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in India. In 2020, Indian troops committed over 3,000 ceasefire violations in which 28 people were martyred.
The joint statement had said the two sides had concurred on reviving the existing mechanisms — hotline contact and flag meetings — for dealing with “any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding”.
Hotline contact is one of the oldest military confidence-building measures between Pakistan and India. The hotline contact was originally established in 1971, but its use followed ups and downs in the relations. The two sides had in their secretary-level talks in August 1992 agreed to resume DGMOs’ communication via the hotline on a weekly basis. The practice, however, could not become a permanent feature and remained dependent on the state of bilateral relations.