ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have reached a ceasefire agreement from 25 February 2021 onward.The Pakistan India Conflict Report by Senior Research Fellow, M. Nafees, at the Center for Research and Security Studies looks back at the losses on both sides in terms of human lives during this prolonged hostile period.
Between October 16, 2016 and February 25, 2021, Pakistan suffered 370fatalities and 661 injuries due to the border conflicts. The highest fatalities from these skirmishes and attacks took place in 2019. During that year, India carried out an aerial attack inside Pakistan to target an alleged terrorist training camp at Balakot. An Indian plane was shot down by Pakistani forces, and its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was taken into custody for roughly 60 hours.
The following year, in 2020, a significant drop in fatalities from cross border attacks was recorded in Pakistan.
Civilians sustained the most casualties in these border skirmishes with 217 killed and 630 injured while 153 security personnel were killed with another 31 injured, mostly soldiers. Among civilians, there were 21 women and 11 children.
The casualties of border skirmishes in India were nearly half of Pakistan (1,032 in Pakistan vs 547 in India). A total of 282 individuals perished, while another 265 were injured in these scuffles.
The civil-military distribution of the victims in India is also dissimilar to what was found in Pakistan. Nearly 70% of the total fatalities were of the security personnel as compared to 41% in Pakistan. The percentages for civilians in India was 30%, compared to nearly 60% in Pakistan. There were 8 children and 13 women among the civilians. A mosque was also damaged in the frontier of Kupwara District on December 30.
It is evident that both countries experienced irreversible human tragedy. If the current decision of recommitting to ceasefire agreement of 2003 gains a long-lasting permanency, it can save many precious human lives on both sides of the border and provide a better environmentwhere purposeful dialogues can be held to address issues that remain disputed.