Emphasising that the LoC ceasefire should be maintained, Pakistan's highest body on security issues led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that the country will continue to seek peaceful settlement of all outstanding issues with India. The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) received a briefing on the situation along the Line of Control during its first meeting since Sharif assumed office in June. Discussions on tensions along the LoC figured prominently in the meeting. "It was strongly emphasised that the ceasefire should be maintained in letter and spirit. All military and diplomatic channels should be used to prevent ceasefire violations," an official statement said. "It was emphasised that Pakistan will also continue to seek dialogue and resolution of all outstanding issues with India peacefully," the statement said. The DCC took note of "continued violations of the ceasefire" and condemned the "unprovoked firing" that killed an army captain yesterday. "Pakistan?s policy of restraint and responsibility was highlighted," the statement said. Bilateral ties soured after five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops along the LoC two weeks ago. Both sides have accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC. The Pakistan army has claimed that two personnel were killed in "unprovoked" firing by Indian forces this week. The National Assembly also passed a resolution deploring the death of the captain yesterday and calling for "constructive" engagement with India.
In his opening remarks at the DCC meet, Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was facing "formidable challenges domestically while far-reaching developments were taking place in the region". The statement did not give details. The DCC provides a platform to deliberate on these issues and craft an appropriate response, he said.