After a gap of 14 years, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan will finally meet next week as part of measures discussed between the Prime Ministers of both nations to scale down tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The DGMOs of both nations — who talk almost every week over a hotline but last met face to face after the Kargil war in 1999 — will meet on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border on December 24 and discuss ways in which the ceasefire agreement can be upheld on the contentious border.
While India will be represented by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, the Pakistani side will be led by Maj Gen Aamer Riaz. Sources said India will be raising the issue of repeated ceasefire violations this year that have threatened the very concept of the 2003 agreement that was aimed at stopping cross-border skirmishes.
As many as 195 ceasefire violations have been reported this year along the LoC — the highest ever after the 2003 agreement came into force. Besides, there have been over 50 violations on the International Boundary with Pakistan as well in the Jammu region.
In particular, the Indian side will also be raising the issue of cross border raids. At least seven Indian soldiers have been killed in cross-border raids by Pakistani military special units that operated along with militants. The most gruesome incident took place in January in which two Indian soldiers were killed — one of them beheaded — by special operations troops of the Pakistani army.
The meeting of the two DGMOs was aimed at reducing this tension on the border and had been agreed upon in September when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the UN in New York.