July 6, 2022


On the intervening night of 23/24 November 2003, the Indian and Pakistani Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) agreed to a ceasefire - the ceasefire agreement (CFA) immediately bringing an end to the constant firing that was taking place in the India-Pakistan borders in Jammu and Kashmir. Between 2004 and 2007, the informal ceasefire agreement (CFA) held firmly till 2007 and loosely till 2009. Ceasefire violations on the LoC and the IB/WB have spiked since 2009.

The year 2017 has been the bloodiest on the LoC and the international border in the Jammu sector since the CFA was agreed to in 2003. According to Indian reports, the Indian Army killed 138 Pakistani soldiers in 2017, and lost around 28 of its own.

What is a Ceasefire Violation?

Ceasefire violation may be defined as the non-observance of the agreement (formal or informal) to stop or suspend aggression (ceasefire).

How Are CFVs Counted?

On the ground, there is no universal rule for counting CFVs. A violation generally does not consist of one shot; a CFV might be thousands of shots fired by a range of weapons from personal firearms to military artillery. The violation might include multiple exchanges of fire across multiple areas within a period of twenty-four hours in reaction to an initial violation.

The armies of India and Pakistan, as well as The BSF and Pakistan Rangers generally use this method to count the CFVs.

Speculative firing on one’s own side is not counted as a violation.

What is Escalation?

Any event/process through which severity/intensity of conflict/tensions increase over time. It can be of any nature (political, military, diplomatic, economic) during a crisis/conflict between countries.

We have divided escalation into three categories i.e. political, diplomatic and military escalation.

Political escalation

  • Adverse statements from decision makers about the other country (not one-off statements but in a context of rising tensions)
  • Cabinet meetings discussing the other country and calling for reduced engagement.
  • News conferences discussing the other country and calling for reduced engagement.
  • Suspension or rollback of CBMs. E.g. suspension of bus service

Military escalation

  • Military leadership making adverse statements about retaliation, nuclear signaling, deployments, strategies during rising tensions or after a conflict has begun
  • Troop movements to forward positions
  • Actual attacks (shelling, military standoff on the border with or without firing)

Diplomatic escalation

  • Expelling embassy staff
  • Summoning High Commissioner/Deputy High Commissioner etc.
  • Issuing demarches etc.
  • Consular restrictions for the embassy (high commission) staff