India, Pak To Take CBMs Forward; Decide To Maintain Peace On LoC

22 December 2015
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: In another Confidence Building Measure (CBM), the Army officials of India and Pakistan met today at Chakan-Da-Bagh along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district and decided to take forward the CBMs like maintenance of ceasefire, return of inadvertent civil border crossers, check on airspace violations and keeping each other informed on construction activities close to the LoC. A decision to boost the CBMs was taken after the Army officers of two sides met this morning at Chakan-Da-Bagh for about two hours and agreed to the importance of exercising restraint along the LoC and keeping the communication alive through established mechanism, official sources told the Excelsior. The meeting comes after Brigade Commander level talks between the two sides on September 21 at the same border meeting point, which had ended hostilities between the two sides along the LoC that had led to repeated ceasefire violations and targeting of the civilian areas in which a number of civilians were killed and injured on both sides. Sources said the Army officials of India and Pakistan have agreed to maintain ceasefire agreement of November 2003 in letter and spirit to ensure that the civilians on both the sides live peacefully and were able to cultivate their crops in the forward areas. After September 21, Brigade Commander level flag meeting, very few ceasefire violations have been reported along the LoC in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. However, Army had foiled major infiltration attempt by the militants at Mukhyari, Sabjian in Poonch district last month in which two hardcore militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed. From the possession of militants, Army had recovered material made in Pakistan including T-shirts of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) headed by dreaded Pakistani militant Hafiz Saeed, Sources said there was general understanding between India and Pakistan that the innocent civilians crossing the LoC inadvertently should be returned to their respective countries after proper verifications. 'Both the sides were of the view that there was no fun of detaining the civilians, who had crossed the LoC due to mistake,' they added. Like ceasefire, the two sides also stressed that there should be no airspace violation by the either country along the LoC as it leads to problems between the two countries. The Army officials of two sides agreed to stick to airspace. The Army officials of India and Pakistan agreed to inform each other on hotline or other modes of communication before taking any kind of construction activity along the LoC to ensure that no side opens firing. 'The Army officials agreed to use communication mode or hotline contact between them to keep each other informed about any issue of significant nature like construction activity,' sources said. The Army officials agreed to the importance of exercising restraint on the LoC and keeping communication alive through established reconciliation mechanism. Both sides called for taking the CBMs forward. The Indian side in the meeting was led by Colonel Himmat Singh Tanwar and included Lt Col Anurag and Major RJ Sameet while Pakistan side was led by Lt Col A Siddiqui, Major Jameel Ahmad and Major Shaqoor. It may be mentioned here that India and Pakistan have resumed their dialogue after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharief in Paris followed by the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan and now proposed Foreign Secretary level talks in New Delhi. Sources said before ending the meeting on positive note, the Army officials of India and Pakistan exchanged pleasantries and sweets at the Zero Line.