India, Pakistan armies holds flag meeting in Kashmir following skirmishes

India, Pakistan armies holds flag meeting in Kashmir following skirmishes
# 14 January 2013 17:45 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The armies of India and Pakistan Monday met for Brigade-level flag meeting following deadly skirmishes on line-of-control (LoC) in Kashmir, officials said.

The meeting between army official from both sides was held at Chakan Da Bagh in Poonch.

"The flag meeting between brigade commanders of India and Pakistan started around 1300 hours (local time) and ended at 1332 hours at Chakan-Da-Bagh point in Poonch," said Col R K Palta.

The Indian team was led by 10th Brigade Commander Brig. T S Sandhu.

Officials said aim of the meeting was to ease tension between two sides and stop ceasefire violations along LoC.

On Sunday evening the two sides exchanged heavy fire and mortar shells in the Krishna Ghati sector of frontier Poonch district, around 180 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts.

The two armies have been engaging in deadly skirmishes on LoC since Jan. 6. Since then four troopers of both countries (two from each side) were killed in these skirmishes, thereby heightening tension between the nuclear neighbors.

Both New Delhi and Islamabad accuse each other of resorting to unprovoked firing on LoC and breaching the ceasefire line.

Official sources said both the sides lodged strong protests over the ceasefire violations and killings of troopers.

Following the heightened tension between two countries cross LoC Trade and travel was suspended. The officials posted on LoC from Pakistani-controlled Kashmir side refused to open the gate for goods trucks and bus, officials said.

New Delhi and Islamabad in 2003 agreed to observe a ceasefire along the international border and LoC in Kashmir. Though some violations have been reported on both sides, the ceasefire remains in effect.

The allegations of intrusion on each other have alerted the armies from both sides deputed on LoC. According to defense analysts intrusions by India and Pakistan troopers into each other 's territory was unheard of since late 2003.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.