The Indian and Pakistani armies said on Thursday that they had agreed to a ceasefire on the disputed borderline in Kashmir, where exchanges of fire have been frequent in recent months.
A joint statement stated that the leaders of the military operations in the two countries spoke by phone and agreed to discuss “the concerns of each other that may disturb the peace and lead to violence in the Himalayas.”
The situation between India and Pakistan became tense after August 5, 2019, as New Delhi announced its decision to abolish the autonomous system of Jammu and Kashmir, making them two of the federal regions (administrative units that have fewer rights than the state).
To do so, the Indian Parliament repealed Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave the state a special status.
During the conflict over Kashmir, Pakistan and India fought 3 wars in 1948, 1965, and 1971, which resulted in the deaths of about 70 thousand on both sides.
On the 26th of last December, political leaders and an Indian police official said that the Indian government had arrested more than 75 political leaders and activists in the Kashmir region, after the local elections that were held in the region.
The agency noted that this was aimed at preventing unrest after a coalition of regional political parties won the local elections.
A senior police official told Reuters that “the recent arrests, which included figures, including separatist leaders and members of the banned Islamic Group, are precautionary measures.”
For his part, Imran Nabi Dar, a spokesman for the National Congress, a regional party, and a major member of the coalition, said the arrests would “undermine the people’s rule.”
Both India and Pakistan have been claiming entitlement to the entire Kashmir region, since the division of India, which was under British administration, into Muslim Pakistan and India with a Hindu majority in 1947, and two of the three wars erupted between the two neighbors because of this mountainous region located in the Himalayas.