The India-Pakistan meeting of Directors-General of Military Operations, held at Wagah on Tuesday, came after an agreement between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif in New York in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, that the two officials must meet to work out steps to ensure that the ceasefire on the Line of Control is preserved.

India’s DGMO Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia crossed the Zero line around 11-30 a.m. into Pakistan at the Wagah border with a group of senior Army officers. The meeting started 15 minutes later than scheduled due to the military protocol that was shown to the officers.

Lt. Gen. Bhatia discussed a host of issues with his Pakistani counterpart Major Gen. Aamer Riaz for almost two and a half hours. After the talks, they issued a joint statement that said the two sides agreed on the “sanctity” of the ceasefire.

“Consensus was developed to make hotline Contact between the two DGsMO more effective and result oriented,” the joint statement said. They also agreed to inform each other if any innocent civilian inadvertently crosses Line of Control to ensure his or her early return.

Flag meetings

The two sides will also hold two Brigade Commander level flag meetings “in the near future”, most likely at Uri and Poonch on the Line of Control.

Check infiltration, Pakistan toldIndia is learnt to have used the opportunity to urge Pakistan to check infiltration from its side. According to numbers given by the Indian side, in 2013 alone itself, there have been 267 attempted infiltrations of the LoC. In Janaury this year, two Indian soldiers were killed, one of whom was behaded. In August, an ambush from the Pakistani side killed five soldiers in the Poonch area.

While there has been a discernible decline in militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, and almost all incident parameters have dropped to a fourth from the 2010 level and halved since 2012, the Indian Army believes that more still needs to be done.

Numbers given by the Pakistan side show that tp to August this year, firing incidents on the LoC had claimed 11 lives on its side. Among those killed were an Army captain, three soldiers and three civilians. Thirty-one people were injured. Pakistan had called for a joint investigation and even suggested the UN Military Observer Mission (UNMOGIP) could be called in but it was not accepted by India. the Indian side.

The meeting is also learnt to have discussed several issues concerning the 15 brigades deployed by the Indian Army on its side of the border. India had earlier refused to get drawn into Pakistan’s attempts to include international third parties in the meeting and to discuss a greater role for United Nations observers in ensuring peace along the border or LoC.

Simla Agreement

Indian Army sources pointed out that it was decided at the time of the 1972 Simla Agreement that both the sides would thrash out their differences bilaterally.

The meeting, which took more than two months to schedule after the New York meeting of the Prime Ministers, was finally held after Maj. Gen. Riaz last Tuesday invited his Indian counterpart to resolve the issue of ceasefire violations.