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Wednesday Aug 07, 2013

Pak, India DGMOs talk on hotline to defuse tension along LoC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) came into contact over hotline and discussed the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, Geo News reported on Wednesday.

Pakistan strongly protested against unprovoked firing by Indian troops in Pando sector that wounded two Pakistani soldiers on Tuesday just hours after India accused Pakistani forces of killing five Indian soldiers.

It may be recalled that Pakistan on Tuesday completely rejected the Indian media allegations about an attack across the LoC in the Poonch Sector in which five Indian soldiers claimed to have been killed, saying that it firmly adhered to the spirit of the 2003 agreement.

The Indian leadership itself appeared confused about the manner of the alleged attack and identity of the attackers. “These are baseless and unfounded allegations. Our military authorities have confirmed that there had been no exchange of fire that could have resulted in such an incident,” the Foreign Office spokesman said.

Normally, the Foreign Office doesn’t react to media accusations, but as events in New Delhi unfolded, India took up the matter diplomatically by summoning Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmed Khan.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Rudrendra Tandon in South Block delivered a verbal but ‘strong’ diplomatic message, the Indian sources said. According to the Indian media, Pakistani troops entered the Indian territory along the LoC in the Poonch Sector in Jammu and Kashmir late last night and ambushed a patrol, killing five Indian soldiers.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Lok Sabha that the attack was carried out by 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons in the “Pakistan Army uniform”. Defence Ministry sources did not come on record but anonymously told the Indian media “a Subedar and four Jawans of 21 Bihar Unit were killed in the attack, 450 metres from the LoC which took place at around 2am.”

Meanwhile, India has a lot of explaining to do and inform Pakistan as to how they identified the ‘terrorists’ and if the ‘persons’ in the Pakistan Army uniform were indeed regular Pakistani soldiers.

In the past, Pakistan has never shied away from admitting that there had been engagement on the LoC and it is at this point difficult to assume whether in reality some non-state actors were engaging the Indian Army on the LoC.

“Pakistan remains committed to the ceasefire agreement of 2003 which is an important Confidence Building Measure (CBM) and should be respected in letter and spirit. Pakistan also urges the need for abiding by and strengthening the existing military mechanisms to ensure that such ill-founded reports that have the potential of vitiating the atmosphere are avoided,” added the spokesman.

Pakistan says it’s committed to a constructive, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement with India and looks forward to an early resumption of the dialogue process. “It is important that both sides make serious efforts in maintaining the positive atmosphere and avoid negative propaganda,” advised the spokesman.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) making an issue out of these Indian propagnda trying to subvert Pak-India prime ministers' expected next month meeting on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York. An Indian newspaper reported that Pak PM Nawaz Sharif and Indian PM Manmohan Singh's meeting would take place as scheduled.