2003 Ceasefire Agreement Between India And Pakistan

However, the ceasefire began to break from 2013, following the deterioration of bilateral relations between neighbours and the gradual increase in cross-border fire. Senior Indian leaders, including Kashmiri Prime Minister Mahbooba Mufti, welcomed the “repeat ceasefire” that has made it easier for border crossers. “Peace at our borders is the first essential step towards greater understanding [between India and Pakistan] and I really hope it will prevail,” Mufti tweeted. “There were no major incidents along the LoC between 2003 and 2012. We have reported only minor incidents. One of the provisions of the ceasefire agreement was, for example, that no new posts should be created within a 500-metre radius of the line. Sometimes, if they were seen strengthening their defence, or if they saw that we were doing the same thing, some warning shots would be fired. Technically, even a single round is a violation of the ceasefire. So they counted as offences. But apart from minor incidents, nothing bigger has happened in the first ten years,” Hooda said. He said Pakistan had approached India to negotiate a return to the 2003 situation. This indicates that India`s tactic of putting direct pressure on the Pakistani army is a success. Yet India and Pakistan have no choice but to negotiate their differences sooner or later.

In this regard, there were hopes of a speedy start to peace talks when National Security Advisers from India and Pakistan met in Bangkok on 26 December 2017 for “secret” talks. But those hopes quickly disappeared, as ceasefire violations along the LOC continued at the same rate in the new year. The leaders of both countries must understand that the first item on the agenda of their next meeting must be the formalization of the 2003 ceasefire, as it will continue to jeopardize the future of the peace process if it remains unresolved. 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 consider it as a de facto border that should not be violated by armed actions. After the partition of India, India and Pakistan fought for the spring state of Jammu and Kashmir – India by the accession of the ruler to the country and Pakistan because of the majority Muslim population of the state. The first Kashmir war lasted more than a year when a ceasefire was agreed to by UN mediation. The two sides agreed on a ceasefire line. The two armies said in almost identical official statements that all future ceasefire violations would be resolved through existing mechanisms such as hotlines and “flag meetings” between local commanders at the border. Therefore, if the 2003 ceasefire is formalized with clear rules and regulations, demilitarized zones, neutral observers and joint commissions, it should reduce the likelihood of future ceasefire violations.

But the success of ceasefires in most conflict situations depends heavily on political will. Unfortunately, this kind of political will seems to be totally lacking, because even gestures of goodwill, such as Kulbhushan Jadhav`s meeting with his family on Christmas Day, are lost in diplomatic sparrows and media wars. Ceasefire violations along the LOC had become a routine activity during the Kashmir uprising in the 1990s. After the 2003 ceasefire agreement, they were almost stalled during the 2004-2007 peace process.