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Pak-India DGMOs to focus on ceasefire mechanism

24 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan and Indian Director General Military Operations (DGMOs) meeting will be confined to the reinforcement of mechanisms for ceasefire along the Line of Control (LOC) across Kashmir and the working boundary in occupied Kashmir bordering Pakistan.

The Indian Army's Lt General Vinod Bhatia will arrive at Wagah and will be received by his Pak counterpart Major General Aamir Riaz. The Indian general will be taken to the Pakistan Rangers facility.

The meeting will start at 11:00am and is likely to continue till lunch. The two teams will enjoy a 'Lahori' lunch before parting ways. Highly placed military sources told here on Monday that the meeting was proposed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when he had a meeting with his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh in New York on Sept 29 on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual summit session. Since then the Indians had failed in making any headway and consequently Pakistan proposed the schedule for the meeting.

Pakistan is keen on brining peace with India and Pakistan Army was prepared for the DGMOs meeting since prime minister made an offer. The Indian establishment created hurdles in normalising ties between two countries. Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who is on the last leg of his political authority desired to visit Pakistan but he was not allowed by the Indian establishment. Dr Singh had to face wrath of Indian establishment's known associates in Parliament when he hinted at stopping Indian involvement in Balochistan way back in 2009 in Sharm-el Shaikh (Egypt). It was the Indian establishment that subverted the understanding regarding Siachen between the two countries at a number of times.

The sources reminded that Pakistan Army's initiative had made DGMOs meeting possible as it would help improve ambiance in contentious areas. It could pave the way for resolution of political disputes causing grave anxiety in the region.

The sources said that the ceasefire across the LoC and working boundary had been holding for ten years (2003-2013) but in January this year Indians created the situation for the reasons known to them and again heightened the tension in August. Indians violated the LoC and working boundary for 416 times in 11 months, the sources revealed.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asim Salim Bajwah told this scribe that the DGMOs would discuss the issues regarding violations of the LoC and working boundary. It is likely that a joint communiqué will be issued on the conclusion of the meeting provided the two armies reach some understanding. It would be the first face-to-face meeting of two DGMOs in 14 years, though they speak to each other over the hotline every Tuesday. The meeting is scheduled to take place at newly created Integrated Check Post at Wagah, the sources added.

Indian media claimed citing sources that critical issues, including violation of ceasefire by Pakistan along LoC, Pak Army support to Kashmir-based militant groups and unprovoked firing would be discussed by two DGMOs. The meeting could pave the way for higher level meetings to de-escalate tension at LoC and build an atmosphere of peace between the two nations.

The two sides signed an agreement in 2003 to maintain ceasefire along the LoC and the actual ground position line in Siachen. Yet another Indian website claimed that drug trafficking, infiltration, smuggling of arms and fake Indian currency were among the main issues India would take up with Pakistan in Lahore at a high-level meeting between the border guard forces of the two countries.

The web quoting DIG Indian Punjab Frontier, BSF, R P S Jaswal said, "Defence constructions, border incidents and trans-border crimes like drug trafficking, infiltration, smuggling of arms/ammunition and fake Indian currency, inadvertent border crossings and other matters of mutual interest would be discussed for effective border management."

End.

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