Ceasefire violations along LoC dangerous for regional, global stability: USIS Report

WASHINGTON: Underscoring the need for measures to reduce cross-border firing along the Line of Control, a recent report supported by a US think-tank said that ceasefire violations was a major contributor to the escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India and entailed danger for regional and global stability.

Titled “Ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir: A Line on Fire,” the report supported by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a Washington-based think-tank, is based on extensive field visits to the border areas and interviews with Indian and military officials, according to a statement by the USIP. It explains the factors behind the violations and suggests ways to control them.

Ceasefire violations over the last decade have been the primary trigger of tensions and conflict between New Delhi and Islamabad in the long-disputed Kashmir region, the report said in its preface.

“The India-Pakistan dynamics in recent years underscore ceasefire violations as a major contributor to the escalation of military, diplomatic, and political tensions between the two sides,” the report said , adding that such escalation between nuclear-armed rivals was dangerous, not only for each side, but also for regional and global stability.

The report found the clear correlation between constructive dialogue and ceasefire violations along the LoC in the disputed region. It pointed out that between 2004 and 2007, when New Delhi and Islamabad engaged in a purposeful dialogue, ceasefire violations dropped dramatically from close to 5,800 in 2002 to only four in 2004.

This trend continued until 2008, when attacks on the Indian embassy and in Mumbai by terrorists led to the termination of the dialogue process and ceasefire violations since then had been on the rise, the report observed.

“In other words, an overall positive bilateral atmosphere with robust bilateral diplomatic engagement encourages a quiet Indo-Pak border,” the report said. Since 2009, ceasefire violations are routine and military factors have a dramatic influence.”

“Resolving the various disputes between India and Pakistan is clearly the surest way to prevent recurrent ceasefire violations, even the need for a ceasefire. In the absence of such a comprehensive resolution, especially in J&K, however, it would still be worthwhile to focus on reducing the impact of the factors that prompt CFVs (ceasefire violations).”

From a policy perspective, the report said, although addressing the fundamental political causes of ceasefire violations is unarguably important, it was equally important to focus on instituting measures on the ground to sustain the ceasefire.