ISLAMABAD: Military officials from Pakistan and India on Friday stressed the need for improving communication between field commanders to prevent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).
“Brigadier-level meeting of military officials of Pakistan and Indian Army took place today to discuss ways to strengthen ceasefire along the LoC,” a military spokesman said.
The meeting at Rawalakot-Poonch crossing point took place under an agreement reached between the two sides at last month’s (Dec 24) talks between their heads of military operations — DGMOs — that called for two flag meetings between Brigade Commanders on the LoC for “peace and tranquillity” along the de-facto border.
The 80-minute meeting was said to have been held in a cordial atmosphere despite exchange of allegations about violations.
An Indian defence spokesperson told media that the meeting “discussed various issues related to the ceasefire agreement as well as the need to improve responsiveness of existing communication channels”.
Both sides described the interaction as another step towards rebuilding confidence after intense exchanges on the LoC last year that were described by Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh as “a mini-war”.
Pakistan Army accuses India of having violated 2003 ceasefire accord over 400 times in 2013, while India accuses Pakistan of breaching the accord on less than 100 times. Ten Pakistan troops were killed in the exchanges last year.
The Pakistani side lodged a protest with the Indian delegation over firing by the Indian forces on a civilian who inadvertently crossed the border in Jandrot sector on Jan 11.
Pakistani officials claimed that the incident was in contravention of the agreement between the DGMOs on exchanging information about “innocent civilian inadvertent crossers” to facilitate their early repatriation.
The Indians expressed concern about infiltration attempts on January 11 and 13 from Pakistani side.
Much like their military chief Gen Bikram Singh, the Indian delegation reportedly warned that peace at the LoC was linked to cessation of infiltration attempts by militants from the Pakistani side.