Thousands of Indian troops began withdrawing on Thursday (December 14) from ground occupied during the fourteen-day war between India and Pakistan last December.
Thousands of Indian troops began withdrawing on Thursday (December 14) from ground occupied during the fourteen-day war between India and Pakistan last December. Troops from both India and Pakistan were withdrawing to positions laid down in an agreement on a truce line through the formerly disputed Kashmir area.
Under the agreement, India withdraws from more than 5,000 square miles (13,000 square kilometres) while Pakistan withdraws from 69 square miles (179 square kilometres).
The deadline for withdrawal was set as 21 December. The evacuation of the occupied territory is a major element of the peace agreement signed last July by India's Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Ghandi and President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan. Negotiations have continued since then on where the Kashmir truce line should be drawn. The exact withdrawal boundaries were agreed earlier this month. Both countries have made concessions to break a deadlock over an ares of less than two square miles (about 5 square kilometres).
The truce-line through Kashmir means at least a temporary and to a 25-year-old territorial dispute over the region between India and Pakistan.
SYNOPSIS: Indian troops began withdrawing from occupied territory in Pakistan on Thursday. The withdrawal was part ??? agreement between the two ??? to leave ground captured during ??? Fourteen-day war in December last year.
Indian troops marked minefields and dismantled military installations through more than five thousand square miles of territory in Kashmir. Pakistani troops withdrew from 69 square miles of captured ground.
The deadline for withdrawal was set as the twenty-first of December. The troop evacuation from the occupied territories was a major element of the peace agreement signed by the two countries in July. Since then, negotiations on the truce - line have continued until this month. Just one week was allowed for withdrawal. Many communications facilities built during the occupation could not be removed before the deadline.
Heavy tanks and artillery units were pulled out in phases. The railway line which was used to withdraw heavy equipment from the Khokropar region will remain. It was built from the border in the months following the capture of the region by Indian troops.
General Anand, who led his Indian troops into Sind Province last year, personally supervised their withdrawal. He said he was confident his units would be out of the region by the December deadline. The largest area occupied by Indian troops in Pakistan was in Sind Province, much of it desert. The main vehicle track through the desert was also left intact by the speedy withdrawal.
The agreement on the Kashmir Truce-line means at least a temporary settlement of the 25-year-old dispute over the border.