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LoC tension: Pakistan agrees to hold flag meet with India

India will reportedly strongly protest against jawan`s beheading at flag meeting and demand the severed head.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: A day after the IAF chief said India may have to "look at some other options" if Pakistan continues to violate the ceasefire on the LoC with impunity, the latter on Sunday agreed to hold first Brigadier-level flag meet on Monday.

"Brigade Commanders` flag meeting is being held tomorrow at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC point in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir at noon," Public Relation Officer (PRO), Defence, Col RK Palta told a news agency.

Pakistan agreed to hold the flag meeting in a communication through a hotline in the sector, he said, adding, "We had sought the flag meeting of the brigade commanders of the two sides."

The Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the Pakistan Army on January 11 and asked for a flag meeting to discuss the issues of brutal killing of two jawans by Pakistani troops, reportedly belonging to 29 Baloch Regiment, and increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in the Poonch sector.

Confidence Building Measures (CMBs) of cross-LoC trade and travel are also expected to come up for discussion during the flag meeting.

Pakistan has suspended cross-LoC trade and travel at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector since Thursday and Friday respectively.
Indian and Pakistan troops on late Saturday night traded heavy gunfire along the LoC in Poonch sector after the movement of a group of suspected infiltrators was detected, in fresh escalation of tension.

Earlier on Saturday, the Indian government said it would not buckle to "wild calls for revenge and reaction" over the killing and beheading of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops.

However, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne termed violations of the LoC and the 2003 ceasefire agreement by Pakistan as "totally unacceptable".

"We are watching the situation carefully, if the violations continue, perhaps we may have to think of some other options for compliance," he had said, but declined to elaborate on the options.

"Options are options...If violations continue we might have to look at the whole issue again."

Border tensions between India and Pakistan have risen sharply since the January 06 death of a Pakistani soldier in alleged firing by Indian forces along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Two days later, Pakistani soldiers killed and beheaded two Indian soldiers in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district.

In Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, the civil society appealed to the governments of India and Pakistan to restore peace and respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

(With IANS inputs)