Pakistan assures India it will probe ceasefire violation

May 15th, 2008 - 8:23 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Pakistan has assured India it will investigate the ceasefire violation after New Delhi registered a formal protest against Pakistani troops opening fire on Indian positions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said Thursday. In a flag meeting held between India and Pakistan at Tangdhar along the LoC Wednesday evening, the Indian Army registered its formal protest against the violation of the 2003 ceasefire.

“In yesterday’s meeting held between battalion commanders, a formal complaint (verbally) has been given to the Pakistan Army along with photo evidence of bullet marks,” the army official said.

While denying any violation of the ceasefire, Pakistan Army authorities have “assured investigation of the matter”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described as “worrisome” the truce violation that occurred when Pakistani troops opened fire in the Tangdhar sector Tuesday evening.

The incident, however, will not lead to any rescheduling of President Pratibha Patil’s visit to the Tangdhar sector May 23, officials said here.

Senior officers of the two armies spoke on the hotline Wednesday to resolve the imbroglio. The director general of military operations (DGMO), Lt. Gen. A.S. Sekhon, spoke with his Pakistani counterpart Maj. Gen. A.S. Pasha at 3 p.m., an Indian Army officer said in New Delhi.

According to the officer, this was the first time that firing along the LoC was being classified as a truce violation.

“In the past too, Pakistani troops have opened fire in support of infiltrators who were trying to sneak across. The fire was returned from our side.

“This time, there was no infiltration involved and our troops did not return fire. Therefore, we have classified it as a truce violation. We hope this will not recur,” the officer said.

The DGMOs normally speak on the hotline once a week on Tuesdays.

Indian Army spokesman Lt. Col. A.K. Mathur said in Srinagar: “Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on our posts. They fired scores of rounds. However, we did not retaliate.”

There were no casualties on the Indian side.

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