India, Pakistan Army officials discuss ways for durable peace

Against the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations, senior Army commanders of India and Pakistan held a flag meeting on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and have agreed to institute mechanisms for durable peace and tranquility on the border.

During the meeting of Battalion Commander-level officers, the Indian side highlighted “abetment and support of the Pakistan Army to cross-border terrorism, sniping actions on the Line of Control and deliberate targeting of civil population during cease fire violations,” a defence ministry spokesman said.

The two sides agreed to keep the channels of communication open between local commanders at the LoC, he reportedly said.

“Indian and Pakistan Army held a Battalion Commander- level flag meeting at Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch Sector at 1100 hours today, in the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations and casualties to civilian population in the past several months,” PTI quoted the spokesman as saying. “The meeting lasted for 50 minutes in a cordial atmosphere.”

He reportedly said that both sides mutually agreed to the importance of exercising restraint on the LoC and keeping the channels of communication open between local commanders.

Both sides also agreed for necessity to institute mechanisms to ensure durable peace and tranquility along the Line of Control, the spokesman added.

Resumption of trade and transit through Chakan-Da-Bagh was also discussed during the flag meeting, he said.

The year 2017 has seen a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Till August 1, there were 285 such violations by the Pakistan Army while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, the Army figures suggest.

Eleven people, including 9 soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army in the month of July, the Army data pointed out.

There were 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT (border action team) attack and two infiltration bids from the Pakistani side in June in which 4 people, including 3 jawans, were killed and 12 injured, media reports said.

In May, there were 79 ceasefire violations, officials reportedly pointed out.

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