India, Pakistan agree to stop firing at Kashmir border | News | DW | 25.02.2021
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India, Pakistan agree to stop firing at Kashmir border

Pakistan and India have pledged to end all firing along their disputed Kashmir frontier. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been at the center of a dispute between the two countries for more than 70 years.

India's Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol along the India-Pakistan border in Akhnoor near Jammu. Archive image from 2019.

Kashmir has been disputed by India and Pakistan since 1947

Military leaders in India and Pakistan have announced an agreement to stop cross-border firing on the disputed Line of Control in Kashmir.

Exchange of gunfire has become more prevalent in recent months and the military operational heads of the two countries spoke by phone on Thursday, seeking to calm the situation.

The pair agreed to discuss each other's concerns, a joint statement from the military leaders said.

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One year since Kashmir autonomy revocation

Seeking 'sustainable peace'

"The Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan (DGsMO) held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact," the statement began. "The two sides reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere."

"In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other's core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence," the statement said.

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A woman's perspective of the Kashmir conflict

Decades of dispute

India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads over Kashmir for decades, with intermittent periods of peace. However, in August 2019 tension was renewed after New Delhi withdrew the autonomy of the Himalayan region and split it into federally administered territories.

Most of Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they became independent countries in 1947, with its remote eastern extremity controlled by China. Both India and Pakistan claim the region in its entirety.

Insurgents in Kashmir have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, with some estimates suggesting more than 70,000 people have been killed in the armed conflict.

jsi/msh (Reuters)

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