Ceasefire understanding being followed in letter and spirit by India, Pakistan: Army Commander

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Udhampur (J-K), Jun 1 (PTI) Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Y K Joshi on Tuesday said ceasefire understanding between India and Pakistan is being followed in “letter and spirit” by both sides, but asserted that the Indian Army is not letting its guard down “even for one bit” along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Ceasefire Understanding (CFU) reached on 25 February 2021 has sustained since then and both sides (India-Pak) are abiding by the arrangement in letter and spirit,” he said in an interview to PTI.

Lt Gen Joshi said the Pakistan army at present seems to be committed to ensuring peace and tranquility along the LoC, but added that “we want to assure our countrymen that we are not letting our guard down even for one bit”.

'The present situation is a reflection of our nation's behaviour as a responsible member of the comity of nations where we have displayed maturity, restraint and humanitarian outlook during the trying times of Covid pandemic,' he said.

India and Pakistan had on February 25 this year released a joint statement announcing a ceasefire along the LoC, following talks between their Directors General of Military Operations.

The two countries had earlier signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003 but it was repeatedly violated.

Kargil war hero Lt Gen Joshi said the direct benefactors of the fresh ceasefire understanding between the two countries have been the people residing along the Line of Control.

“The most direct dividend of this CFU has been for the people residing along the LoC, who have reaped the benefits of peace and tranquility for last three months and have been able to go about their daily lives without the fear of imminent peril and danger,' the Army Commander said.

However, he said the ceasefire agreement will have no impact on the counter-terrorism measures being undertaken by the security forces.

“The ceasefire understanding has had no effect on our counter-terrorist operations along the LoC or the hinterland, which continue unabated.” 'The troops are maintaining their operational preparedness at 100 percent efficiency in order to ensure that the response to any misadventure by the adversary or terrorists would be met with a swift and punitive response,' the Army Commander said.

He said the understanding provided an opportunity for the troops deployed along the LoC to enhance defense preparedness and take force protection measures.

Giving details, he said that the year 2020 saw almost 5,000 ceasefire violations (CFVs). 'In 2021, there were 413 violations in January and 315 CFVs till February 24,' he added.

'Our efforts to ensure zero infiltration is a synergised application of man and machine wherein technology-driven solutions have aided the troops to maintain a strict and continuous vigil along the LoC and also the anti-infiltration obstacle system,' Lt Gen Joshi said.

The armed forces as a vector of Comprehensive National Power (CNP) are aware of their duties and responsibilities and are committed to be the imposers of national will both in kinetic and non-kinetic domain, he said. PTI AB AQS

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