A recent media report by Bloomberg suggests that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has allegedly helped broker a ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan. This comes after the two neighbouring countries issued a joint statement in February this year, vowing to respect the 2003 ceasefire violations pact. On Monday, the US media noted, “The Pakistan-India ceasefire marked a milestone in secret talks brokered by the UAE that began months earlier, according to officials aware of the situation who asked not to be identified.” It added, “The ceasefire, one said, is only the beginning of a larger roadmap to forge a lasting peace between the neighbouring countries.”
According to Bloomberg, Pakistan and India will be reinstating envoys in Islamabad and New Delhi, respectively, who were pulled out in 2019 after Pakistan protested India’s move to withdraw seven decades of autonomy for the Indian part of Jammu and Kashmir. The UAE will also reportedly provide its help in resuming trade and a lasting resolution on Kashmir, which has been a constant subject of contention ever since the 1947 partition.
The UAE’s neutral stance in the Pak-India relationship possibly stems from the fact that it has been home to many Indians and Pakistanis[t1] from around the world ever since it came into existence. In November, Minister of External Affairs of India, Jaishankar met with Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince on a two-day visit to Abu Dhabi. His visit was followed by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who made a trip to the UAE the next month. Earlier this week, when PM Khan tested positive for Covid-19, Modi wished him a speedy recovery in a Twitter post.
Pakistan and India had in November 2003 agreed to cease fire along the LoC and the Working Boundary. Both countries have time and again violated the LoC since 2008. Last year, Indian troops committed over 3,000 ceasefire violations in which 28 people were martyred. Hence, February’s joint statement surely gave hopes of there being some light at the end of the tunnel. “Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors, with effect from midnight 24/25 February 2021,” it read.