BRIGADE COMMANDERS MEET AT CHAKAN-DA-BAGH

SALIL RAINA

Jammu, Jan 14: India Monday lodged strong protest with Pakistan Army over the killing of two of its soldiers and continued ceasefire violations along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The flag meeting between brigade commanders of India and Pakistan started around 1.00 pm and ended at 1.32 pm at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector”, a senior Army officer said.
Army sources said a strong protest was lodged by the Indian side over the killings and continued ceasefire violations along LoC.
The Indian team was led by 10th Brigade (Krishnaghati Brigade) Commander Brig T S Sandhu in the meeting with the Pakistan brigade commander.
A statement issued by Lt Col Rajesh Kalia, PRO Udhampur-based Northern Command Headquarters said the Pakistani delegation denied their involvement in the Mendhar incident, as also any ceasefire violations by their troops and “reiterated the fabricated allegations that our troops crossed over LoC and killed one Pakistani soldier and injured another.”
“It was conveyed to the Pakistan delegation that such dastardly act is totally unacceptable and is a premeditated attempt to undermine the ceasefire agreement of 2003, which can lead to further escalation.  It was conveyed in no uncertain terms that repetition of such acts will not be tolerated and the Indian Army reserves the right to retaliate at the place and time of our own choosing in case these recur,” the statement said.
The Indian Army had sent a hotline message to Pakistan Army on January 11 and called for a Brigade Commander-level flag meeting to discuss the issues of brutal killing of two soldiers after an alleged major intrusion by Pakistani troops of 29 Baloch Regiment and increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in Poonch sector.
Pakistan had yesterday responded to the request for flag meeting through hot-line, he said, adding that “we had sought flag meeting of the two brigade commanders”.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir was earlier summoned in Delhi by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who had lodged a strong protest over Pakistani Army action in which the two soldiers were allegedly killed and their bodies were subjected to “mutilation”.
Pakistan has suspended cross-LoC trade and travel at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector since Thursday and Friday respectively.
This is second Brigade Commander-level flag meeting held along the LoC in Poonch in the last six months.
A Brigade Commander’s flag meeting was held at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC in Poonch sector on June 23, last year to discuss the killings of two soldiers in ceasefire violations, besides closure of LoC trade and travel between two sides via Chakan-Da-Bagh point.
The two soldiers, including one of BSF, were killed and four others injured in firing by Pakistan troops in four ceasefire violations since June 11 to June 16 last year along the LoC in Poonch sector.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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