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India, Pakistan agree to maintain peace along LoC

Source : AGENCIES
Last Updated: Wed, Jan 16, 2013 15:48 hrs
Shellings and patrols: Life on the LoC

New Delhi: Indian and Pakistani forces on Wednesday agreed to maintain peace on the LoC (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir after days of bitter stand-off that had threatened their uneasy ties.

The two armies agreed not to violate the 2003 ceasefire on the LoC, an officer said on Wednesday.

The Indian Army spokesperson Colonel Jagdeep Dahiya confirmed that a DGMO (Director General Military Operations) level meeting was held on Wednesday during which Pakistan has promised to observe ceasefire and exercise restrain in the area.



"The DGMOs (Director General of Military Operations) of India and Pakistan held a talk for ten minutes today. Pakistani DGMO has confirmed that orders have been passed to observe ceasefire and exercise restrain," said Dahiya.

"They agreed not to violate the ceasefire and exercise maximum restraint," he added.

The DGMOs agreed not to allow the situation along the LoC, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, to escalate, he added.

Ties between the two neighbours were under strain ever since the Jan 6 killing of a Pakistani soldier allegedly in firing by Indian troops. Two days later, Pakistani soldiers brutally killed two Indian soldiers, including beheading one of them, on the LoC. India has voiced its protest over the killing and also summoned the Pakistani envoy in New Delhi.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that there can be "no business as usual" with Pakistan following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers on Jan 8.

India also held back the Visa on Arrival regime for senior Pakistani citizens and Pakistani hockey players for the Indian Hockey League were asked to return on Tuesday.

Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh had Tuesday termed the killing of the Indian soldiers "an unpardonable act" and said his forces reserved the "right to retaliate". On Wednesday, Bikram rejected Pakistani allegations that Indian troops had crossed the LoC and indulged in unprovoked firing, saying any casualty on the other side may have been due to retaliatory firing.

Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire on the LoC in Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday evening on two occasions - a day after their brigadier-level flag meeting Monday.

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