Continuing in a series of firsts in the thawing relationship between Pakistan and India, the recently escalated tension over the LoC might just see a welcome reconciliation as the Directors General of Military Operations of Pakistan and his counterpart in India have made sincere overtures to restore the 2003 ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary (WB). The pact comes as a major relief for civilians living in border colonies, thousands of whom have been displaced due to the fierce cross-border firings.

Where the recurring violations over the LoC owing to the hardline adopted by Modi’s administration had instigated violence and atrocity in the occupied region with over a 100 dead during the last year and half on the Pakistani side, the accord brokered comes through the much advocated initiative of opening channels of communication. A testament to Pakistan’s consistent effort at brokering peace, the agreement was reached during a hotline conversation, on a Pakistani initiative. Given that the previous DGMO level talk held last month had ended in routine blame-shifting, with India stating that ‘firing by Indian troops was carried out in response to support given by the Pakistan Army to armed terrorists’ and that it will continue its heavy retaliatory aggression, the current exchange is a refreshing change from the Pak-India finger pointing rhetoric, where the two contemporaries were unanimous in their statement committing to a mutual understanding, and heralds a much awaited period of amenable relations between the two neighbours over the issue of Kashmir.

Where it is regrettable that existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings were seldom used before, it is heartening to see both sides using all channels of communication to work towards easing tensions along the LoC and mediate the recent exchange of hostilities.

Recently heartening positive steps taken by the two sides include exchange of prisoners and progress on other bilateral agreements, besides a meeting of the Indus Water Commission and scheduled meetings of Coast Guard teams, all of which can slowly redefine and temper the general level of trust, and allow for a more amicable bilateral engagement.

Where conjecture about a nod from Pakistan’s National Security Committee, a morphing political dynamic on India’s side and groundwork towards cooperation inspired by the Daulat-Durrani memoir all may have contributed to the evolution of this compromise, the fact remains that in the wake of the violence and spiraling human tragedy that had been set ablaze in Kashmir, any tempering of Pak-Indian ties that can allow for peace and stability in the disputed region should be celebrated and encouraged.