SRINAGAR: India and Pakistan military Tuesday agreed to maintain truce on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and keep the communication alive through established reconciliation mechanism.
Defence spokesman based in Jammu Lt Colonel Manish Mehta said a Battalion Commander level flag meeting was held between Indian and Pakistan army at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch sector of Jammu province this morning to discuss important issues, especially ceasefire violations along LoC.
“The meeting, which began at 11 am, was held to take forward the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) initiated during the Brigade Commander Level Flag meeting held in September,” he said adding Colonel level officers lead the respective delegations.
Asked what was discussed in the meeting, Lt Col Mehta said the military representatives of the two nations deliberated on ceasefire violations, return of inadvertent civilian crossers across LoC, air space violations and construction activity close to the LoC.
He said the deliberations between the two sides continued for over one and a half hour.
“During the meeting, both sides acknowledged each other’s efforts in maintaining peace and tranquility on the LoC in the recent past,” Lt Col Mehta said.
Asked what was decided in the meeting, he said military officials of both the countries agreed to the importance of exercising maximum restraint on the LoC. “They also agreed to keep the communication alive through established reconciliation mechanism”.
In November 2003, India and Pakistan government agreed to end hostilities along the International Border and LoC in J&K and maintain truce along the frontiers.
The defence defence spokesman said the flag meeting between the military officials of the two countries ended on a positive note and two sides exchanges pleasantries and sweets at the zero line.
Sources said during the meeting, Indian army officials told their Pakistani counterpart not to push militants into Jammu and Kashmir. “Our officers raised the infiltration attempts by militants and recent militant attack on army men near LoC in Poonch district,” they said adding they were told not to back militants.
After the last flag meeting between India and Pakistan military officials in September, the ceasefire violations at the LoC, which were rampant till then, stopped and both sides halted fire and mortar shelling.
Prior to the flag meeting in September, Pakistani troops had been daily firing from heavy weapons and resorting to mortar shelling of 120 mm, 82, 61 mm mortar bombs, rocket projectile grenades on army posts and civilian areas along the LoC, causing casualties among civilians and security forces and damage to the property.