Highlights This assurance came during the hotline talks between the Indian DGMO and his Pakistani counterpart
Daily cross-border firing duels have reduced drastically since the DGMOs agreed to implement the 2003 ceasefire pact
Indian officers say it does not mean the Indian Army will slacken its robust counter-infiltration measures With the new Imran Khan-led government set to take office in Islamabad, Pakistan army on Thursday assured the Indian Army that it will take “prompt action” against any “move by inimical elements” in the proximity of the Line of Control and respond to any information shared by New Delhi in support of anti-terrorist operations.
This assurance came during the hotline talks between the Indian director-general of military operations Lt General Anil Chauhan and his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, at the request of the latter at about 5 pm on Thursday. “The Pak DGMO expressed satisfaction with the measures being taken along the LoC by the rival troops to maintain peace and tranquility. The quantum of ceasefire violations has drastically reduced and augurs well for the future,” said a senior Indian officer.
“The Indian DGMO emphatically stated that infiltration attempts by terrorists were a major cause of concern. He also informed the Pak DGMO that these activities have increased in the areas north of the Pir Panjal mountain ranges. He said Pak must institute measures to prevent infiltration from the launch pads located on its side of the LoC,” he added.
The Indian DGMO in turn, assured his Pak counterpart that the Indian Army will abide by its commitments to uphold the ceasefire understanding of 2003, provided that the Pak Army initiates positive steps to control infiltration and abetment of terrorism in J&K.
Ever since the two DGMOs agreed on May 29 to “fully implement the 2003 ceasefire understanding in letter and spirit”, the daily cross-border firing duels have indeed drastically reduced. Importantly, the two DGMOs had also agreed that any “issue” will be sought to be resolved through the hotline and border flag meetings.
But Indian officers say the acceptance of the ceasefire does not mean the Indian Army will slacken its robust counter-infiltration measures along the borders, which was evident when Indian troops shot dead two Pakistani soldiers in “a calibrated retaliatory operation” in the Tangdhar sector on Tuesday night to avenge the killing of one of its jawans.
Earlier, as reported by TOI, ceasefire violations had broken all records in the last 15 years this year, with the two armies regularly using light artillery guns, anti-tank guided missiles and heavy mortars to target each other with and civilians being often caught in the middle.
The 2003 ceasefire had initially held for some years as a major confidence-building measure, with the two armies maintaining restraint and holding regular flag meetings. Even then, India had not agreed to formalize the ceasefire understanding into a written agreement with clearly defined modalities and standard operating procedures in order to keep its options open because of Pakistan’s continuing support to cross-border terrorism.
But the ceasefire pact had begun to fray in recent years with the Indian Army stressing the Pakistan army-ISI combine had used the interregnum to bolster its anti-India terror machinery and push as many infiltrators as possible into India.
Since last year, Indian Army had also taken to “pro-active dominance” of the LoC by conducting pre-emptive and targeted fire assaults against Pak Army forward posts that actively abetted infiltration, as also “tactical operations” along the border.
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