Ravi Krishnan Khajuria & Darshan Bharti, Tribune News Service
Jammu, June 23. The much-awaited meeting between officials of the Indian and Pakistani Army was held today at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district of J-K, with New Delhi, in strong words, conveying to Islamabad its concerns over recent truce violations in the KG Sector.
“We told them that border skirmishes were in nobody’s interest and such misadventures jeopardise peace initiatives between the two countries,” said an Army source.
“The Brigade Commander -level flag meeting commenced around 1100 hours at Chakan-da-Bagh and lasted till 1200 hours,” Jammu based Defence PRO, Col RK Palta said.
It has been reliably learnt that the meeting took place between 10 Brigade Commander, TS Sandhu and his Pakistani counterpart, 6 Sector Commander, Amir Sohail Ashraf. “We had been demanding a flag meeting with them, especially after June 13 when the Pakistani troops targeted out forward posts. It eventually happened today, providing us an opportunity to lodge our protest with them,” said a senior Army officer.
“With this meeting, we can now say that things will start moving in a positive direction,” he added.
The officer also hoped that once the differences were ironed out between the two armies, trans-LoC trade and travel would soon get back on rails.
The Pakistani troops had resorted to unprovoked firing on forward Indian posts in the KG Sector in Poonch on June 13. The heavy shelling continued till June 17. The firing forced the Army to deploy an artillery battalion in the KG Sector for the first time in the past one decade.
Army sources said the recent firing by the Pakistani troops was to facilitate infiltration of militants into J-K.
Cross-LoC trade and travel custodian, Abdul Hamid, said he was hopeful of resumption of trade and travel between the two sides after the flag meeting. “We hope that trade and travel via Chakan-da-Bagh will resume by July 2 and July 3,” he added.