Feb 28, 2021 13:23 UTC
  • India-Pakistan statement important step toward peace in South Asia: Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has welcomed an agreement between Pakistan and India on a decision to strictly observe a ceasefire along the de facto border in disputed Kashmir.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh on Sunday commended the joint statement as an important step toward extended peace and stability in South Asia.

He expressed hope that Islamabad and New Delhi would work further to ensure welfare in the region.

According to a joint statement issued on Thursday following months of clashes between India and Pakistan, “Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight.”

The joint statement said the armies of the two nations had held talks “in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere.”

India and Pakistan have accused each other of being responsible for ceasefire violations. The two sides regularly exchange fire along the truce line, known as the Line of Control (LoC) that has separated the two countries for decades.

Pakistan’s military says some 1.7 million civilians live along the LoC and increasingly depend on bunkers during clashes.

A disputed territory, Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their acrimonious partition in 1947.

Pakistan’s foreign office says Indian forces killed at least 28 civilians in Kashmir last year.

In August 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the limited autonomy of the Muslim-majority region, followed by the imposition of harsh movement restrictions and mass arrests by Indian authorities in the area.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist government promised the move would bring peace and prosperity to Kashmir. Pakistan, however, maintains that the move is a violation of the rights of Kashmiri people.