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India, Pakistan to hold flag meeting in Poonch tomorrow

Jammu, Jan 13, 2013 (PTI)
) In this photograph taken on December 4, 2003, Indian soldiers patrol along a barbed-wire fence, near Baras Post on the Line of Control (LoC) between Pakistan and India some 174 kilometers north west of Srinagar. A Pakistani soldier was killed and another wounded on January 6, 2013, when Indian troops stormed a military post on the two countries' de facto border in Kashmir, the military said. It said an exchange of fire was continuing after the Indian incursion across the Line of Control marking the frontier in the Haji Pir sector, 80 kilometres (49 miles) north of Islamabad. AFP PHOTO/

In a bid to de-escalate tension along the Line of Control (LoC), India and Pakistan will hold a brigade commander-level flag meeting in Poonch sector on Monday during which the recent intrusions and the brutal killing of two jawans by Pakistani soldiers will figure.

"Brigade Commanders' flag meeting is being held tomorrow at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC point in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir at noon," public relation officer (PRO), defence, Col R K Palta said.

Pakistan agreed to hold the flag meeting in a communication through a hotline in the sector, he said, adding, "We had sought the flag meeting of the brigade commanders of the two sides."

The Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the Pakistan Army on January 11 and asked for a flag meeting to discuss the issue of brutal killing of two jawans by Pakistani troops, reportedly belonging to 29 Baloch Regiment, and increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in the Poonch sector.

Confidence building measures (CMBs) of cross-LoC trade and travel are also expected to come up for discussion during the flag meeting.

Pakistan has suspended cross-LoC trade and travel at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector since Thursday and Friday respectively.

The jawans were killed by Pakistani troops on January 8 after they intruding deep into Indian territory along Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district, prompting an outraged India to summon the Pakistan high commissioner in Delhi to protest the "highly provocative" attack. The head of one of the two jawans was chopped off and taken away by the Pakistani troops.

This is the second Brigade Commander-level flag meeting to be held in the Poonch sector in the last 6 months.

A Brigade Commanders' meeting was held at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC point on June 23 following the killing of two Indian soldiers and injuries to four other jawans in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, besides closure of the cross- LoC trade and travel via Chakan-Da-Bagh.

The two jawans were killed and the four others were injured in the firing by Pakistan troops between June 11 to June 16 in the Poonch sector.

Army sources said a commander-level flag meeting is held to sort out the differences between the two sides


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