The DGMOs of India and Pakistan will meet on December 24

Pakistan on Friday said it wanted to include the Foreign Offices of both countries in the meeting of the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) to make it broader based, but this stand was not acceptable to India.

Confirming this, the new Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said for the time being, this meeting will be between the DGMOs but “our proposal is still on the table.” The DGMOs of India and Pakistan will meet on December 24.

She said the DGMOs had been speaking to each other on the phone but clarified that the scheduled meeting was not due to back channel diplomacy. “There was agreement between the two countries that we need to meet at this level to sort out issues taking place on the Line of Control (LoC),” she said. Keeping that in mind, the Pakistan DGMO invited his Indian counterpart and it was accepted. She also stated that the LoC was “under control” at the moment.

In response to a question on a possible trilateral mechanism between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Ms. Aslam said Pakistan already had a strong relationship with Afghanistan and it was looking forward to an improved relationship with India by resolving all outstanding issues.

This would pave the way for regional cooperation and foreign investment in this region which sometimes fell short because of the instability or the potential of instability in the region. She clarified that the Prime Minister was not talking about any particular trilateral mechanism and he had called for better relationship with all neighbours in general.

‘Internal matter’

The National Assembly on Monday had passed a resolution condemning the hanging of Jamaat e Islami leader Abdul Qader Mollah sparking off protests in Dhaka. In response to questions, Ms. Aslam said what was happening in Bangladesh is essentially its internal matter. “By passing a resolution, our Parliament did not mean to interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Pakistan and Bangladesh share a long history which goes back to even before 1947. As Muslims of South Asia, we struggled together for independence from the British rule. Till 1971, we were one nation,” she added.

To questions on a difference in the stand of the Parliament and the foreign office, she clarified that the Parliament is a sovereign body and Parliamentarians represented the sentiments of the people and therefore, have the right to make every statement they deemed appropriate. “The purpose was not to interfere but it reflected Pakistan’s desire to look towards a brighter future in the spirit of the 1974 Tripartite Agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh where it was agreed that we would let bygones be bygones and focus on a better future for peace and stability of the region,” she pointed out.