NSA Ajit Doval's role behind India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement: Report

In a joint statement issued on Thursday after the DGMO level talks between India and Pakistan, the two countries have committed to peace and tranquility on the LoC. This is the result of months of behind-the-scenes talks with Pakistan led by NSA Ajit Doval.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Feb 25, 2021 18:13 IST
NSA Ajit Doval's role behind India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement: Report
Indian NSA Ajit Doval (Left Side) & Pak NSA Moeed Yusuf (Right Side)

A shared statement issued on Thursday, after a conversation between India and Pakistan's Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO) on the hotline, has expressed peace and commitment to the LoC. Both countries have agreed to abide by all treaties, agreements, and ceasefire rules. 

Reports from defense sources indicate that the script of the latest agreement was written under the leadership of NSA Ajit Doval during months of talks with Pakistan behind the scenes.

The report said that NSA Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Moeed W. Yusuf had been in contact with each other for several months. During this time, the two also met face-to-face in a third country.

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According to a person aware of the case, Doval and Yusuf were in constant touch. Sometimes direct and sometimes intermediaries were negotiated between them. The back-channel dialogue between India and Pakistan was kept completely secret.

Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, and Foreign Minister S.K. Very few people, including Jaishankar, knew about the conversation and its details.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday by the Ministry of Defense in New Delhi, it was agreed that the negotiations between the DGMO of the two countries agreed to abide by all treaties, agreements, and ceasefire rules.

This agreement came into force from midnight of 24-25 February. The two countries also agreed that if any misunderstanding occurs, the existing hotline contact and the system with border flag meetings will be used.

According to officials, in the next few months, the two countries can take some more important steps towards normalizing the relationship. The first sign of back-channel dialogue between the two countries was found this month when Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with Aman.

Ever since Balakote Airstrike, Bajwa had been making sharp statements against India and his tone of peace was shocking. On 2 February, General Bajwa said that this is the time to extend a hand of peace in all areas.

Three days after that, on 5 February, the statement issued by Pakistan on 'Kashmir Unity Day' was somewhat soft. Also in recent weeks, there has been some reduction in ceasefire violations on LoC from Pakistan.

Bajwa's peace offer, reduction of ceasefire violations, and softening of Pakistan's tone on Kashmir were indicative that talks between the two countries were going on behind the scenes. 

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The fourth clue was found when Pakistan, which used to talk about Kashmir on every platform, talked only on the issue of the Corona epidemic at the meeting of SAARC countries on Corona last week. Imran Khan's special assistant doctor on health, Faizal Sultan had attended the SAARC meeting and he only spoke on the issue of Corona.

An official said the fifth signal was found when India on Tuesday allowed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to use his airspace to travel to Sri Lanka. This decision was contrary to the antics of Pakistan. In 2019, Pakistan did not allow three VVIP flights from India to fly through its airspace. 

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