December 2003 News

Ceasefire in J&K working: Gen Balagatte

8 December 2003
The Daily Excelsior

SRINAGAR: The recent ceasefire between India and Pakistan has generated hope that relations between the two neighbours will improve further, commander of the Sri Lankan Army Lieutenant General L P Balagalle said. 'Things have definitely changed on the borders in Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan,' Lt General Balagalle told reporters here after a day-long visit to some of the forward posts. He said the feedback he received from formation commanders was encouraging. 'The field commanders of the Indian Army were satisfied about the outcome of the three-week-long ceasefire so far,' he said, adding that they were hopeful that ties between the two countries will improve further in the coming days. Lt Gen Balagalle, who left for New Delhi later, said the ceasefire created an opportunity for India and Pakistan to hold talks in an atmosphere of peace. Asked if he suggested that a third party should monitor the ceasefire on the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Gen Balagalle said he was told that a mechanism had already been drawn. 'It is better if both the countries monitor the ceasefire themselves and remain in touch more regularly.' He said many Sri Lankan officers were getting training in India and Pakistan. However, he admitted that relations with India were more close. Lt Gen Balagalle said India and Sri Lanka can share their experiences with each other. 'We can learn from the Indian experience and we can share our experience with the Indian Army,' he said. Earlier, Lt Gen Balagalle was recieved at the headquarters of the 15 Corps by Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma, GOC 15 Corps. A Defence Ministry spokesman said both the generals discussed the current situation on the Line of Control and Actual Ground Position Line. (UNI)  


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