Three weeks after India and Pakistan reaffirmed their pledge to strictly observing a truce along the Line of Control and the International Border, a Pakistani sporting team is in India to participate in a multi-country meet.
A seven-member Pakistani team arrived Monday to play in the qualification matches for the International Tent-Pegging Federation World Cup Championship, one of the first results of the easing of tensions between the two neighbors.
Tent pegging is a horse-mounted game in which riders pierce or pick up a mark on the ground with a sharp tool. The game is said to have arisen centuries ago in India.
On February 25, the Indian and Pakistani armies released a joint statement stating they had committed to “strict observance of all agreement, understandings, and cease fire along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors” from midnight on February 24-25.
Both sides’ Director Generals of Military Operations signed the declaration, in which they have “agreed to discuss each other’s key problems and grievances that have the potential to threaten peace and contribute to conflict.” The declaration went on to say that it was all in the name of “achieving mutually acceptable and lasting stability along the borders.”
Since the deal went into effect, there have been no reports of cross-LoC or cross-border shooting. The Punjab Rangers, a paramilitary group that guards Pakistan’s foreign boundary with India, manage the Pakistan Equestrian Federation. The squad consists entirely of civilians.
India is hosting the Group B qualifiers, in which India, Pakistan, the United States, Belarus, and Nepal battle for a spot in the 2023 World Cup in South Africa. The first two teams will advance. The horses for all teams have been provided by the EFI. “That has always been the practice,” Mathur said.