Tehran welcomes India-Pakistan ceasefire statement

Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed an announcement by Pakistan and India about their decision to strictly observe the 2003 ceasefire along the Line of Control (LOC), the line that marks where the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir is divided.

In comments on Sunday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh hailed the joint statement from India and Pakistan as a major step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia.

The spokesperson also expressed hope that Islamabad and New Delhi would take more steps to ensure regional peace, stability and welfare.

Pakistan and India on Thursday said they had recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire arrangement at the Line of Control and agreed to address the ‘core issues’ that could undermine peace and stability.

The announcement was made in a joint statement by the militaries of the two countries on a ‘hotline contact’ between their directors general military operations (DGMOs), which had apparently taken place a day earlier.

A ceasefire has been in place at the Line of Control, which divides Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, since 2003, but it is frequently violated by both sides, resulting in civilian and military casualties.

Last year, Indian small arms, and mortar fire and artillery shells killed at least 28 civilians and wounded 257 more in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to Pakistan’s foreign office.

Since January 1, Pakistan says Indian forces have violated the ceasefire at least 175 times, wounding eight civilians.