A timeline of India-Pakistan military confidence building measures

Anadolu Agency takes a look at past military confidence-building measures, their utility to maintain semblance of peace in region
Syed Iftikhar – March 20, 2022

ANKARA (Anadolu) – At a time when the world was grappling with the fighting between Russia and Ukraine, war clouds nearly hovered over South Asia on March 9, once an Indian nuclear-capable cruise missile launched “accidentally” landed in neighboring Pakistan. 

Experts are, therefore, urging both nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors to strengthen military to military level contacts to avoid recurrence of such incidents.

Anadolu Agency takes a look at past military confidence-building measures (CBMs) and their utility to maintain a semblance of peace in the region.


– Indi and Pakistan refrain from using air force in an open desert area of Rann of Kutch. Both sides decide to avoid targeting cities.

– Maritime CBMs process takes place in the light of arbitration of the Sir Creek Boundary dispute between 1965 and 1968, resulting in the delimitation of a line of 403 kilometers (250 miles) that was demarcated later by joint survey teams.


– A dedicated hotline communication comes up between the director generals of military operations of both countries to carry important information in a short period.


– Agreement on not attacking each other’s nuclear installations, including nuclear power and research reactors, fuel fabricators, uranium enricher, isotope separation, and reprocessing facilities.


– An agreement to set up a hotline between the director generals of military operations so they can talk every week for frequent communications.


– Ratification of an agreement on the prohibition of attack against nuclear facilities and an arrangement put in place to share information and exchange updated list of nuclear sites on Jan. 1 each year.

– An agreement on advance notifications of military exercises, maneuvers, and troop movements.

– No military activity by land, naval, and air force within 5 km (3.1 mi) of the international border.

– A mandatory notification for exercises comprising two or more divisions.

– A near Line of Control notification for any exercises involving division level or above.

– Division-level exercises are to be conducted only 25 km (15.5 mi) away from the border.


– Both countries agree to update the annual exchange of nuclear lists to include details of the location of nuclear facilities.

– They sign an agreement on the prevention of airspace violations.

– Combat aircraft (to include fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, jet military trainer, and armed helicopter aircraft) will not fly within 10 km (6.2 mi) of each other’s airspace including the air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

– Unarmed transport and logistics aircraft including unarmed helicopters and air observation posts aircraft are permitted up to 1 km (0.6 mi) from each other’s airspace including ADIZ.

– Aerial survey, supply dropping, and rescue missions and flights less than 1 km from each other’s airspace including ADIZ will provide advance notification to their air headquarters.


– A memorandum of understanding is signed on resumption of weekly hotline communication between director generals of military operations.


– Lahore Declaration is signed, which includes an agreement on the prevention of incidents at sea to ensure the safety of navigating naval vessels and aircraft belonging to both countries.

– A memorandum of understanding on ballistic missile flight test comes up, making it mandatory to provide a three-day notice before the commencement of a testing window. It prohibits launching from or targeting missiles within certain geographical proximity of the International Border and the Line of Control to ensure that the trajectory of the missiles neither transects nor is directed toward the same borders.


– The informal cease-fire along the Line of Control and actual ground position line along Siachen Glacier come up.

– Joint patrolling along the international border and periodic flag meetings.

– Prohibition of development of new forward posts.


– For first time, Indian Border Security Forces and Pakistani Rangers conduct their bi-annual meeting.


– Establishment of a link between the Indian Coast Guard and the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency.

– Singing of an agreement on advance notice on ballistic missile tests. The 1999 memorandum of now becomes an agreement.


– Signing of an agreement on reducing the risk from nuclear weapons-related accidents and it is reaffirmed for a five-year term until 2012.


– Indian military’s announcement of observing a cease-fire in Kashmir during the month of Ramadan for the first time.

– The terms of the 2003 cease-fire agreement are restored.


– A joint announcement by the director generals of military operations for reverting to the 2003 cease-fire agreement along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir

Sources: Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS)

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