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After 14 years, key Pakistani, Indian army commanders meet

Wagah/Attari, Dec 24, 2013 (IANS):
Pakistan Army DGMO Maj Gen Aamer Riaz and Indian Army DGMO Lt Gen Vinodh Bhatia before the delegation level meeting at the Wagah-Attari border on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Key army commanders of Pakistan and India met Tuesday - after 14 years - in a bid to ease border tension and ensure peace.

Pakistan's Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Major General Amir Riaz and India's DGMO Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia met at the Wagah-Attari border, which Geo News described as a mechanism to ease tension and ensure peace at the Line of Control (LoC).

Gen. Bhatia Tuesday crossed over from the Attari border check post and was received by Gen. Riaz.

The DGMO-level talks are being held after 14 years. The last time the key army commaders met was in July 1999 after the Kargil war.

The issues being discussed include violations of ceasefire at the LoC as well as infiltration. The focus was on maintaining ceasefire and bringing normalcy.

A brigadier and three lieutenant colonels from each side were also present at the meeting.

The two DGMOs usually talk on the hotline every Tuesday. Pakistan's Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the decision to hold the meeting between the Pakistan and Indian DGMOs was taken on political level.

The DGMO of Pakistan invited his Indian counterpart for a meeting to strengthen the mechanisms for ensuring a ceasefire along the LoC and the proposal was accepted by India.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif at their meeting Sep 29 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York decided on the DGMO meeting in view of the frequent violations of ceasefire along the LoC. The two sides agreed on the ceasefire in November 2003.

The LoC has seen several ceasefire violations and violent incidents in recent months. Five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack in August, leading to tension along the LoC.

Associated Press of Pakistan said it is expected that the meeting would work towards reducing tensions along the line that divides Kashmir into two halves.


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