HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

India, Pak DGMOs meet to discuss LoC tensions

PTI  Islamabad, December 24, 2013
First Published: 12:38 IST(24/12/2013) | Last Updated: 16:43 IST(24/12/2013)

Fourteen years after they last met, the directors general of military operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan on Tuesday held an over two-hour-long meeting at the Wagah border to ease tensions and ensure peace on the LoC.

The Indian side was led by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia while Maj Gen Aamer Riaz headed the Pakistani side. A brigadier and three lieutenant colonels from both sides also took part in the talks.

The Pakistani military released photos of Riaz receiving Bhatia at the Wagah border and a picture of the meeting. No other details were immediately available.

A Pakistani military statement issued earlier said the decision to hold the meeting of the DGMOs was made at the political level.

Besides tensions on the Line of Control (LoC), the DGMOs were expected to discuss matters related on the international boundary with a focus on maintaining the 2003 ceasefire and ensuring normalcy, the statement said.

Tensions along the LoC subsided after the Prime Ministers of the two sides met in New York in September. The premiers had decided that the DGMOs should hold talks to reduce tensions but the meeting could not be scheduled till now.

Five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops along the LoC in August while two more were killed in January. Both sides also repeatedly accused each other of violating the ceasefire on the LoC.

The DGMOs last met 14 years ago after the Kargil conflict of 1999. They usually talk once a week on a hotline.

India is believed to have forcefully conveyed to Pakistan the importance of maintaining the ceasefire on the LoC.

Pakistani media reports said Islamabad was expected to seek a larger role for UN military observers deployed along the ceasefire line.

The UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was established in 1949 under a resolution passed by the Security Council to monitor the LoC.

Pakistan initially proposed to include Foreign Ministry officials in the meeting of the DGMOs but India rejected the move. Pakistan's Foreign Office said last week that the proposal for including diplomats in such meetings was "still on the table".

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