New Delhi: The rare joint commitment signed between Indian and Pakistani military chiefs to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement is a milestone brokered by the UAE, reports said.
In what seems the most concerted effort in years, United Arab Emirates’ mediation is said to be the beginning of a larger roadmap to forge a lasting peace between the neighbors, both of which have nuclear weapons and spar regularly over a decades-old territory dispute, Bloomberg reported.
On February 25, India and Pakistan issued a joint statement that said both sides agreed to “strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors” with effect from February 25.
After the cease-fire, the UAE was one of a handful of countries to issue a statement welcoming the cease-fire announcement, highlighting the “close historical ties” it has with both India and Pakistan and hailing “the efforts made by both countries to come to this agreement.”
Only 24 hours after the agreement was signed, top diplomat of the UAE visited New Delhi for a quick one-day visit. The official readout on February 26 said that UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar “discussed all regional and international issues of common interest and exchanged views on them.”
Several clues over the past few months pointed at the UAE’s role, the report said. In November, Jaishankar met bin Zayed and the crown prince on a two-day visit to Abu Dhabi, followed by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi the following month.
Roughly two weeks before the Feb. 25 announcement, the UAE foreign minister held a phone call with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan “wherein they discussed regional and international issues of interest.”
And just days before, India allowed Khan’s aircraft to fly over Indian airspace as he headed to Sri Lanka for a state visit.
The next step in the process is reinstating envoys of both countries in New Delhi and Islamabad, who were pulled in 2019; talks to resume trade and for a lasting resolution on Kashmir, sources were quoted as saying.