India and Pakistan released a joint statement on Friday with both sides agreeing to observe the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) starting from February 25, the agreement by both the countries has generated a lot of hope, scepticism and fear in the political circles of the Valley.
While former Chief Ministers Dr Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti welcomed it saying dialogue is the only way forward if both countries want to stop the unending cycle of violence and bloodshed across the borders and in Jammu and Kashmir, others like Sajad Lone of Peoples Conference says Kashmiris need to learn lessons from it.
Others say the agreement is nothing but a move towards normalisation of the “changed facts on the ground” in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370.
“Seemingly Indo Pak detente. Don’t know how long the goodwill stay only to be replaced by the perpetual bad. Not being negative. But tempted to say. They can play friend and enemies whenever they want. Wish we Kashmiris learn our lessons. And we won’t learn. Never have. Never will,” Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone tweeted.
In contrast, NC President Dr Farooq Abdullah said the move will go a long way towards sustainable peace between the two neighbouring countries.
“The agreement between the DGMOS of India and Pakistan will go a long way in ushering long-lasting peace alongside LOC. NC has always been a strong votary of Indo-Pak peace. It is the people of Jammu and Kashmir that have been facing the brunt of escalating tensions alongside the borders. I hope the agreement is followed in letter and spirit. The development, I sincerely believe, will allow people living alongside LOC and international border in J&K to go about their normal lives with minimal disruption and risk,” Dr Abdullah added.
He said the profound negative impact of the animosity between the two neighbouring countries was faced by the people who lived alongside the border on LOC, IB.
“The agreement, I believe if followed by the book, will help advance the collaboration between the two neighbouring countries. I have all along been saying that spilling blood on either side of the borders is unjustifiable in today’s emancipated world. The cessation of hatred between the two countries will help both countries concentrate more on their respective population’s wellbeing. I hope the development doesn’t go down as short-lived flutter but increases the possibility of some forward advancement towards the resolution of all impending issues lingering between the two neighbouring nations,” he said.
“I hope the respective sides will further use dialogue to resolve any unforeseen situation, and misunderstanding.”
Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “A big & welcome development that India & Pakistan have agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC. Dialogue is the only way forward if both countries want to stop the unending cycle of violence & bloodshed across the borders and J&K."
Many in the Valley see the thaw as nothing but a move towards normalisation of the “changed facts on the ground.” “Peace is important but if this cessation of hostilities doesn’t change our situation positively, it will only result in making unilaterally changed goalposts on the ground a permanent feature. In that case, it must be called what it is - a surrender. And if these bilateral tactics of war and peace don’t bring relief to us, we must think about us.... think why we are always dispensable,” posted a senior journalist on social networking site Facebook.
The Director Generals of Military Operations (DGsMO) statement said, “In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have the propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence. 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 February 24-25 Feb 2021.”