Pakistan violates Kashmir truce; worrisome, says PM(Night Lead)

May 14th, 2008 - 11:59 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Srinagar/New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Violating a truce that has been in force since 2003, Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian positions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, an incident that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described as worrisome. “It is worrisome. The issue is being taken up at the military level,” the prime minister told reporters on the sidelines of a defence investiture ceremony in New Delhi Wednesday.

The incident, however, will not lead to any rescheduling of President Pratibha Patil’s visit to the LoC on May 23, officials in New Delhi said.

Senior officers of the two armies spoke on the hotline Wednesday to resolve the imbroglio that erupted Tuesday night.

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

“It was also decided to hold a flag meeting as soon as possible. The modalities for this are being worked out,” he added.

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 the incident took place in the Tangdhar sector of the LoC in north Kashmir Tuesday night.

“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing at our posts,” he said.

“They fired scores of rounds. However, we did not retaliate,” Mathur added.

There were no casualties on the Indian side.

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