India lodges 'strong protest' with Pakistan at flag meeting
Jammu: The Indian Army on Monday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over breach of the ceasefire between the two countries and the killing of two Indian soldiers at the brigadier-level flag meeting on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district. According to army sources, the flag meeting at Chakan da Bagh started at 1 pm and lasted for an hour.
"The Indian side lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over its soldiers intruding into Indian side and brutally killing two of its soldiers in Sona Gali area of Mendhar sector on January 8 and repeated violations of ceasefire by Pakistan on the LoC," a source said.
Ten ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place this year; in 2012, the number was 117 and 61 in 2011. The firing by Pakistan across the LoC, which divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, is mainly to provide cover to infiltrating militants, it is believed.
The sources said the Indian Army also demanded the severed head of one of the beheaded soldiers' which was taken by the raiding Pakistani soldiers. The Indian side also underlined the need for restoring confidence building measures (CBMs) across the LoC. Pakistan's response was not yet known. Cross-LoC trade, taking place four days a week from Tuesday to Friday, has halted since Wednesday as Pakistan did not open the LoC gates. The cross-LoC bus carrying passengers to and fro Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir once a week on Mondays also did not ply Monday.
The cross-LoC bus and trade takes place from Chakan da Bagh in Poonch district of Jammu region and from Salamabad in Kashmir valley. The ceasefire agreement of November 2003, which is considered the main CBM between India and Pakistan regarding Jammu and Kashmir, led to two other major CBMs — cross-LoC bus in 2005 for meeting of divided families living on either side and cross-LoC trade between two sides in 2008.