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Pakistan DGMO invites Indian counterpart for meet on December 24

Pakistan`s Director General of Military Operations on Tuesday invited his Indian counterpart for a meeting on December 24 to discuss ways to strengthen the ceasefire on the Line of Control.

IANS| Updated: Dec 17, 2013, 20:09 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Director General of Military Operations on Tuesday invited his Indian counterpart for a meeting on December 24 to discuss ways to strengthen the ceasefire on the Line of Control.

The move came almost three months after the Prime Ministers of the two countries decided in New York that the DGMOs should meet to find ways to reduce tensions on the LoC.

"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.

The 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 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security to discuss national security issues.

The DGMOs of the two sides have not held any meetings in the past few years. Indian DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia and his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Amir Riaz spoke on their hotline on October 25 and 29.

On September 29, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif agreed on a meeting between the DGMOs when they held talks on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The premiers felt a meeting between the military officials would help reduce tensions on the LoC that were at a peak following the killing of five Indian soldiers in an attack in August.

However, the meeting was not scheduled and both sides did not give reasons for the delay.

The already strained bilateral relations took a hit early this year when two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops along the LoC in January.

Fierce exchanges of fire on the ceasefire line claimed the lives of soldiers on both sides. Both countries accused each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Tensions eased following the meeting between the premiers in September.
Indian Defence Minister AK Antony said yesterday that the DGMOs will meet when they feel the need for it. "The two DGMOs are talking and let them talk. Whenever they feel, they will meet. It is up to them," he told reporters in New Delhi.

The DGMOs talk to each other on Tuesdays and discuss matters such as ceasefire violations on the LoC and the International Border.

Flag meetings between local formation commanders of the two sides are usually fixed during these conversations.

This year, there were over 150 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops, who also carried out attacks inside Indian territory on some occasions.