India, Pakistan DGMOs talk over LoC firing

DGMO conveys his serious concern to his Indian counterpart over deliberate targeting of innocent civilians including children

The request for talks was initiated by Pakistan. The DGMO said Indian troops were deliberately targeting innocent civilians including children, which was of serious concern and a violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Lt. Gen. Bhatt said retaliatory firing by the Indian troops was carried out in response to "unabated support" given by the Pakistan Army to armed terrorists to infiltrate the border and target Indian Army posts with heavy calibre weapons.

Around 2pm on Monday after, Pakistani DGMO Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza spoke to Indian DGMO Lt Gen AK Bhatt over the hotline.

Pakistan in the past few weeks has summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner frequently to lodge its protest alleging that despite calls for restraint, India continued to indulge in ceasefire violations.

Pakistan Army's DGMO clarified, when it was alleged by the Indian army's official that Pakistani troops had targetted civilians, that "Pakistan considers people living across LoC as our brethren and Pakistan Army as a professional force has never done this".

He also said that the Pakistani army has granted permission to civilians to settle in the vicinity of the neighbouring countries posts.

He said the support to terrorists by the Pakistan Army is "unacceptable".

The Indian DGMO impressed upon the Pak DGMO that "while Indian Army will continue efforts to ensure peace and tranquility on the borders, however, support provided to terrorists while crossing LoC by Pak Army is the prime reason for any collateral damage and is attributed to Pak Army aiding infiltration across the LoC". This year, till June end, over 260 ceasefire violations were reported, while last year it was just 14.

There have since been continued outbreaks of firing across the heavily militarised frontier, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries, including to civilians.

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