RAWALPINDI: The Directors General Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India on Wednesday spoke over the hotline on the situation on the Line of Control (LoC), a UN-monitored de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, military sources said.
The DGs were in contact following Tuesday’s accusations that Pakistani troops were involved in the killing of five Indian soldiers in an attack on an army post in the disputed Kashmir region.
Reports of the attack came just as India and Pakistan were preparing to resume peace talks broken off since January when tensions rose following the beheading of an Indian soldier in a border clash.
Pakistan’s DGMO Major General Ashfaq Nadeem said the accusations levelled against the country’s soldiers were without foundation and utterly baseless, sources said.
Moreover, Pakistan also lodged a strong protest against Tuesday afternoon’s “unprovoked firing by Indian troops” at the Pando Sector on LoC near Muzaffarabad.
Major General Nadeem moreover told his Indian counterpart that Pakistan wholeheartedly respected the ceasefire agreement with India.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Office also rejected allegations of Pakistan’s involvement as “baseless and unfounded”, saying the country’s was committed to its ceasefire promises and wanted to resume peace talks with India soon.
The picturesque Himalayan territory of Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by the LoC but is claimed in full by both countries.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.
A deadly flare-up along the LoC border in January brought low-level peace talks to a halt which had only just resumed after a three-year hiatus sparked by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.
However, the election of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in May’s polls has fuelled expectations of a rapprochement.
Sujatha Singh, India’s new foreign secretary, said last Thursday that India would be “picking up the threads” of peace talks with the new Pakistani government.
Singh however said that any dialogue with Islamabad “presupposes an environment free of violence and of terror”.
Speaking on the same day, Sharif reiterated his desire to boost ties with India and included Kashmir on a list of issues that had to be tackled.
“We will boost trade, we will boost business and will boost investment with India,” the premier told reporters in Karachi.
“We will also try our best to solve all longstanding issues with India, including Kashmir.”