India and Pakistan have fought three wars along the disputed border in Kashmir, which both countries rushed to capture after they were partitioned in 1947. India claims Pakistan supports violent separatists in the region, while Pakistan accuses its southern neighbor of committing rights violations in its rule over the predominately Muslim population there.
Last year was the most violent since 2003, according to Happymon Jacob, an associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi who monitors the border.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in India in 2014, the Indian military escalated the Kashmir violence by using high-caliber weapons, Professor Jacob said.
Last year, Pakistan reported 1,970 cease-fire violations while India reported 970, according to Professor Jacob, who added that India was “disproportionately” shelling across the border. This year was on track to be even more violent, with more than 1,000 violations occurring in the first six months of 2018, according to independent monitors.
But with the truce agreement happening in the absence of larger peace talks, observers are not optimistic that it will stick.
“The only reason that 2003 cease-fire agreement survived that long was because it was backed by a peace dialogue,” Professor Jacob said, noting attacks in 2008 in Mumbai, India, and at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, had derailed those peace talks. India accuses Pakistani-backed militants of orchestrating both attacks, which Pakistan denies.