India and Pakistan have agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control in Kashmir.
“The welcome development on the LoC is a result of discussions through the established channel of DGMOs”, tweeted Pakistan’s Special Assistant to the PM Dr. Moeed Yusuf. “Obviously these are by their very nature not in the public eye and done privately and professionally through the direct channel.”
Ties between the South Asian rivals are frozen since 2019 when Indian Air Force bombed Balakot inside Pakistan and Pakistan’s Air Force responded by downing IAF planes (a surprise daytime kinetic action) and capturing an Indian pilot –Islamabad later returned the captured pilot as a goodwill gesture (another surprise).
Some observers say the prospect of two-front war for India appears to have receded with both neighbors agreeing a ceasefire on the Line of Control. Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Bajwa is understood to have played a key role in reassuring Delhi that Pakistan won’t take advantage of India’s row with China.
“It’s a good news …sanity seems to have prevailed”, says Amb. G R Baloch.
South Asia analyst Michael Kugelman says “an off ramp couldn’t have come at a better time. But let’s see if other measures follow, or if this deal is just a temporary salve.”
“The fact that LoC ceasefire initiation came from India is a testament to it’s wariness in the northern sector post of Ladakh,” said one observer. “This is a chess move victory of sorts.”
“Timings are interesting,” another observer said.