The joint statement issued by India and Pakistan on the ceasefire agreement between their top military commanders comes months after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his counterpart in Islamabad initiated back-channel conversations to ensure peace along the borders, people aware of the matter said.
NSA Doval and Moeed W Yusuf, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, have been in touch directly and via interlocutors from the intelligence community, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
Moeed Yusuf later confirmed that the two countries had been making efforts behind the scenes.
The joint statement is the first outcome of these conversations that included at least one face-to-face meeting in a third country, the person cited above said. He added that only a small group of top government leaders including Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar were aware of the details of the talks.
Thursday’s joint statement, issued in New Delhi by the defence ministry, said the director generals of military operations (DGMO) of the two armies had agreed to “strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control” from Wednesday midnight.