Shelling by Pak. Triggers Scare in Jammu’s Arnia
Uneasy silence and panic reigned in communities along the zero line in Jammu’s Arnia sector after an eight-hour firefight between Indian and Pakistani troops threatened the 2021 ceasefire pact.
What do we know about the Indo-Pakistan border?
- The Indo-Pakistan border is the international border that separates the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The boundary stretches for approximately 2,300 kilometres through Jammu, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. The India-Pakistan boundary spans 3,323 kilometres.
- The border is known as the Radcliffe line. Cyrill Radcliffe, a British officer, created it in 1947. The border crossing is named Wagah after the Wahga hamlet, near which the Radcliffe Line was drawn.
- The border runs through the following Indian states:
- Jammu and Kashmir
What has the situation at the border been like in recent years?
- Ceasefire Violations: The Jammu and Kashmir Line of Control (LoC) has been a particularly controversial area, with both India and Pakistan accusing each other of violating the ceasefire. Ceasefire breaches frequently result in gunfire and artillery shelling, resulting in casualties and destruction on both sides.
- Military buildup: Both India and Pakistan have a substantial military presence near the border. Military exercises and occasional troop mobilizations have been sources of concern.
- Humanitarian Concerns: Cross-border shelling and militant actions have resulted in civilian displacement, property damage, and loss of life in border areas, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.
What is the 2021 ceasefire agreement?
- India and Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) on February 25, 2021. The agreement was reached by both countries’ directors general of military operations. The agreement stipulated that all agreements, understandings, and ceasefires along the LoC and in other sectors be strictly adhered to.
- The Line of Control (LoC) is a 740-kilometre-long line that separates India and Pakistan in the Jammu and Kashmir areas. It is a de facto border rather than a legally recognized international boundary.
- More than a dozen ceasefire violations have occurred since the agreement. On more than a dozen instances, Pakistani troops have opened fire on Indian soldiers and border posts.
What is the recent incident violation of the ceasefire at the border?
- Skirmish and Ceasefire Violation: An eight-hour skirmish took place along the zero line in Jammu’s Arnia sector between Indian and Pakistani soldiers. This conflict has raised concerns about the stability of the 2021 ceasefire deal, as it is the first time Pakistan Rangers have used mortar shells since the pact was renewed in February 2021.
- Military Reaction: Indian troops reacted against Pakistan Ranger’s fire, and Pakistan Rangers extended their fire to target Indian border outposts. The Pakistan Rangers fired heavy machine gunfire during the ceasefire violation, according to the BSF.
What are the causes of the ceasefire violations?
- Proxy Warfare: Pakistan has been accused of sponsoring and hosting militant groups suspected of carrying out attacks in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. Ceasefire breaches are frequently linked to attempts by these militants to cross the border into India.
- Domestic and International Pressure: Domestic and international political pressures, as well as the desire to seem tough on national security concerns, can affect decisions made by leaders in both countries. International diplomatic initiatives and pressure could potentially have an impact on the situation.
- Retaliations: Ceasefire violations can arise as a form of retaliation in response to claimed incidents on the opposite side of the border. For example, if one side accuses the other of violating the ceasefire, the other side may counter with its infractions.
- Military and strategic goals: Some military and strategic goals may result in ceasefire violations. Attempts to acquire tactical advantages, establish advantageous positions, or divert the opponent’s attention are examples of this.
- Communication Breakdown: Misunderstandings and communication breakdowns between the military and political leadership of both countries can often result in unintentional ceasefire violations.
How can we prevent the ceasefire violations?
- Diplomatic Intervention:
- Continuous diplomatic communication is required to address the conflict’s core causes. Both countries should hold ongoing talks to resolve remaining concerns, particularly the Kashmir conflict.
- Confidence-building measures (CBMs) can be used in diplomatic attempts to assist in developing confidence between two countries.
- International Conflict Management:
- The involvement of neutral third parties, such as the UN, the US, or China, can aid in mediating and facilitating discussions between India and Pakistan.
- International mediation can give both countries a venue to discuss their issues and identify common ground.
- Channels of Communication:
- Maintain and strengthen direct communication channels between both countries’ military and diplomatic officials to avoid misunderstandings and unintentional escalation.
- Border Management:
- Improve border management procedures to ensure greater border coordination and understanding, minimizing the likelihood of infractions.
- Use technology, such as surveillance systems and drones, to improve border monitoring.
- Cross-Border Trade and Interpersonal Contact:
- Encourage cross-border trade and economic cooperation to build interdependence and minimize the incentives for hostility.
- People-to-people contacts, such as cultural exchanges and family reunions, should be encouraged to foster goodwill and mutual understanding.
This circumstance illustrates the frailty of India and Pakistan’s ceasefire agreement in this region, as well as the possibility of escalation in hostilities, which can have serious effects on both military troops and people living in border areas.