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The already strained bilateral relations took a hit when two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC in January. Photo: Reuters
The already strained bilateral relations took a hit when two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC in January. Photo: Reuters

India, Pakistan DGMOs to meet on 24 December

The proposed meeting on December 24 is for discussion on ways to strengthen the ceasefire along LoC

New Delhi/Islamabad: Director generals of military operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan will meet at the Wagah border on 24 December to discuss ways to ensure ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC), three months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif proposed this meeting to defuse tensions. The meeting of the DGMO was proposed by Pakistan on Tuesday and India accepted it.

The meeting will be held on the Pakistan side of the Wagah border on 24 December, Indian Army headquarters said in New Delhi.

“Pakistan Army DGMO has extended an invitation to his Indian counterpart for the meeting on December 24," a senior official of the Pakistan Army’s media arm said in Islamabad.

The Pakistan foreign office said in a statement that the invitation was extended to “strengthen the mechanisms to ensure ceasefire on the Line of Control". No details were given by the military or the foreign office about the venue of the meeting.

The invitation was extended by the Pakistani DGMO soon after Sharif chaired a meeting of the cabinet committee on security to discuss national security issues. At the meeting, the Indian side will be represented by DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia while Pakistan will be represented by his counterpart Maj Gen Amir Riaz.

The two DGMOs usually talk to each other on hotline on Tuesdays.

On 29 September, Singh and Sharif agreed on a meeting between the DGMOs during their talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly meet in New York. The premiers felt a meeting between the top Army officers would help reduce tensions on the LoC that were at a peak following the killing of five Indian soldiers in an attack in August amid a series of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

However, the meeting was not scheduled and both sides did not give reasons for the delay. The strained bilateral relations took a hit early this year when two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC in January. Fierce exchange of fire on the ceasefire line led the two countries to accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

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