India, Pakistan armies talk peace after heavy gunfire along LoC since May 1
The spokesman said both sides agreed mutually about the importance of exercising restraint along the LoC and keeping the channels of communication open between local commanders.india Updated: Aug 23, 2017 19:32 IST
Indian and Pakistani commanders held a meeting on Wednesday along the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two nations, and agreed exercising restraint and keeping channels of communication open for peace.
The 50-minute meeting between the area’s battalion commanders of both armies was convened in the backdrop of heightened bilateral tension as the two countries have been engaged in border skirmishes since May.
Mortar shelling and gunfire have caused military and civilian deaths south of the Pir Panjal range in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Indian and Pakistan Army held a battalion-commander-level flag meeting at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch sector in the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations and casualties in the past several months,” a military spokesman said.
The Indian delegation is understood to have highlighted the Pakistani army’s ceasefire violations, cross-border terrorism, and snipers targeting villagers across the LoC.
Resumption of trans-LoC trade and travel via Chakan-Da-Bagh was also discussed.
The spokesman said both sides agreed mutually about the importance of exercising restraint along the LoC and keeping the channels of communication open between local commanders.
They agreed that mechanisms should be set up to ensure peace in the region.
Peace has been at a premium in the area since Pakistan’s rogue “border action team” ambushed and beheaded two Indian soldiers in the Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch on May 1.
Again on June 22, the Pakistani army’s Border Action Team ambushed an Indian patrol and killed two soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district amid heavy artillery and machine gun fire on the frontier. Indian troops retaliated and killed two Pakistani gunmen.
Other than these fatal assaults, the Pakistanis have been firing machine guns, mortars and heavy artillery regularly. People on the other side have suffered too because of Indian retaliatory action.
The conflict forced authorities to suspend a bus service and trade between India and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir since July.
Wednesday’s meeting between the two armies raises hope for resumption of trade and travel, said Pawan Anand, president of the Chakan-da-Bagh cross-LoC traders association.
First Published: Aug 23, 2017 19:31 IST