Shimla Agreement

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    • 2nd July 2022 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.

    Background of the Shimla Agreement 

    • The Shimla agreement of 1972 was more than just a peace treaty, it was the result of the India-Pakistan war of 1971 and sought to countermand the effect of such war. 
    • The India Pakistan war of 1971, cost Pakistan to lose East Pakistan from West Pakistan and become an independent country now popularly known as Bangladesh
    • The war started as a result of Pakistan’s genocide over the Bengali population in East Pakistan. India lent support to the refugees of the genocide, India wanted to prevent Pakistan from entering India while liberating Dhaka.

    Principles of the Shimla Agreement 

    • They made commitments to have a direct bilateral approach to resolve issues peacefully.
    • A special focus on people-to-people contacts was made for which they had to build a foundation of cooperative relations.
    • Both countries were supposed to take measures not to violate the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir which helps maintain peace among India and Pakistan and acts as a significant CBM.

    Objectives

    • Put an end to conflict and confrontation,
    • Promotion of friendly and harmonious relations
    • Establishing peace and welfare of the state,
    • Respect for each other’s political Independence, sovereignty, integrity, and unity,
    • Not to disturb each other’s internal affairs,
    • Refrain from hostile propaganda. 

    Key clauses of the Shimla Agreement

    • Relations between both countries were to be governed by the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.
    • Both governments take steps in their power to prevent hostile propaganda against each other and to encourage spreading such information which would develop friendly relations among India and Pakistan.
    • To actively bring back and regulate relations among the two countries there had to be steps taken. Such as:
      • Efforts to bring back communications by the way of post, telegraph, air links including flights and border posts.
      • Taking appropriate measures to encourage travel resources for the nationals of the other country.
      • They were to work on bringing back trade and cooperation in economic and other fields as well.
      • Initiatives to encourage exchange of the knowledge in science and culture.
    • Delegates from both countries take action to meet occasionally and discuss necessary details. For the purpose of initiating peace both the governments agreed that:
      • The Indian and Pakistani forces pull back to stay at their side of the international border.
      • The Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir as a result of the December 17, 1971 ceasefire, the countries agreed to honour it without any prejudices and stay on their sides.
      • Both the countries promise to stay away from using any force or threat that may violate the Line of Control.
      • Right after the entry into the Agreement, the withdrawals will commence and shall be completed in 30 days thereof.
    • The agreement will come into force with effect from when the Instrument of Ratification will be exchanged, subject to its ratification by both countries as per their Constitutional procedures.
    • While the representatives of either side will come together often to discuss upcoming modalities and arrangements to bring peace and stability as well as a final settlement on the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the release of POWs. They are also to renew diplomatic relations. Both governments’ heads would meet at a mutually agreed time convenient to both in the future.

    Effect of the Agreement

    • While India returned the 93,000 prisoners of war in an organised manner as promised by Indira Gandhi
    • Pakistan was to work on converting the Line of Control to an international border.
    • India returned the prisoners of war along with the territories that it captured. 

    Source: HT