India, Pak to hold flag meeting in Poonch tomorrow

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January 13, 2013

Pakistan has agreed to a flag meeting in Poonch area of Jammu region along the Line of Control, in a bid to defuse the week-long tension between the two neighbors that gripped Mendhar sector after skirmishes between the Pakistani and Indian troops left four soldiers dead.

January 13, 2013

Pakistan has agreed to a flag meeting in Poonch area of Jammu region along the Line of Control, in a bid to defuse the week-long tension between the two neighbors that gripped Mendhar sector after skirmishes between the Pakistani and Indian troops left four soldiers dead.

Jawans patrol near the Line of Control at Churunda village, 160 km northwest of Srinagar on Sunday.

Senior Army officials confirmed that the brigadier-level flag meeting would be held at Chakkan Da Bagh point on the LoC at 1 p.m. on Monday to sort out the matters between the two sides. The proposal for the flag meeting was mooted by India on Friday but Pakistan's response came two days later.

Though Pakistan had been violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement with India on several occasions over the past few years, tension at this time around escalated following the killing of a Pakistani Army soldier in Haji Pir area during intermittent firing on the border.

India denied having committed any violation of the ceasefire agreement and asserted that none of its Army personnel had crossed the LoC to go into the other side of the border. Two days later, Pakistani troops, taking benefit of dense forest cover and thick fog, sneaked into the Indian side and in an exchange of fire killed two Indian soldiers. The Indian Army said that retreating Pakistani troops mutilated the bodies of both the deceased solders and beheaded one of them and took away his severed head along with them.

In this January 9, 2013, an Indian soldier patrols near the Line of Control in Mendhar, Poonch.

Islamabad had earlier alleged that Indian troops had violated the ceasefire on January 6, 2013 and Islamabad promptly called for an enquiry by the U.N. Military Observers Group from India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) into the matter but New Delhi turned it down, stressing that all outstanding issues between the two neighbors can be resolved under the 1972 Shimla Agreement.

The flag meeting on Sunday comes after an overnight exchange of fire between India and Pakistani troops in Krishna Ghati area. However, no loss of life or property has been reported from the Indian side. Pakistani side has already stopped the cross LoC trade and passenger bus service at Chakkan Da Bagh point since Friday last. Official sources said that ceasefire violations along the LoC have been on the rise from Pakistani side over the past few years.


Courtesy: Hindu