SRI NAGAR: After the recent surge in border ceasefire violations, Indian and Pakistani Army officials on Monday held a flag meeting and agreed to defuse tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir by exercising restraint and upholding the 2003 ceasefire agreement.
“A Brigade Commander-level flag meeting was held between the Indian and Pakistani Army officers at Chakan-da-Bagh crossing along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir this morning,” said Army’s Northern command spokesperson Colonel S D Goswami.
He said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and issues of ongoing ceasefire violations, targeting of civilians and sniping action at the LoC were discussed threadbare. Sources said the Indian side was represented by Brigadier H S Sareen, while the Pakistani army was led by Brigadier Osman.
They said the meeting lasted for over an hour, during which both sides put forth their points of view and vowed to uphold the 2003 agreement.
Goswami said Army officials of both sides have mutually agreed to exercise restraint and take steps to defuse the situation along the LoC.
Both sides also discussed the firing of long-range and medium-range mortar shells and agreed that they will refrain from doing so. “They also agreed not to target civilian areas,” the sources added.
On August 15 and 16, six civilians were killed in Poonch sector of Jammu province after Pakistani troops targeted civilians areas with long-range 120-mm mortar shells.
Monday’s Brigade commander-level flag meeting is the first such meeting held after September 4, 2014.
The meeting assumes significance since it has been held within a week after the DG-level talks between BSF and Pakistani Rangers was held in national capital. The border guard chiefs had also agreed to reduce tension but the results were not visible on the ground. A day after the talks ended, Pakistani troops fired on security posts in Manjakote sector along the LoC in Rajouri district, killing a BSF officer.
Since then there has been near daily exchange of gunfire and mortar shelling by Indian and Pakistani troops along the LoC.