The agreement between Pakistan and India to restore peace by strictly observing agreements of ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors has been hailed by the UN chief and the White House on Thursday.
In separate statements issued after the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of both the countries contacted on a hotline and agreed to strict implementation of understandings on the ceasefire, the US and UN welcomed the “positive step”, which will provide an opportunity for further dialogue.
During a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the United States welcomes the joint statement between the two nations.
“This is a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia, which is in all shared — is in our shared interest. And we encourage both countries to keep building upon this progress,” she added.
On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the development a “positive step” and hoped that it would pave the way for more talks between the two countries.
“The Secretary-General is encouraged by the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan on their agreement to observing the ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and engaging through established mechanisms,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement read out at the regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.
“He (UN chief) hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue,” the statement said.
Replying to a question from APP correspondent, the spokesman said the UN chief had no plans as yet to contact the leaders of India and Pakistan for starting the process to resolve the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
He said the secretary-general’s good offices were always available for any member state who would request it.
The President of UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, also welcomed the agreement, which, he said, “set an example for others and demonstrates the General Assembly’s value.”
The agreement to re-enforce ceasefire
The director-generals of military operations of India and Pakistan reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a “free, frank and cordial atmosphere,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said Thursday.
The two DGs of military operations made hotline contact in the interest of achieving “mutually beneficial and sustainable peace”, the ISPR statement read.
It said they agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb the peace and lead to violence.
Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LOC and all other sectors, with effect from midnight 24/25 February 21.
It was reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding.
Contact between the two military officials comes at a time when a number of cases of LoC violations by India have been reported by the Pakistan Army.