Pakistan-India tensions: Top military officials to meet face-to-face

Published: October 14, 2013

Indian PM Manmohan Singh (R) and PM Nawaz Sharif (L). PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Amidst soaring tensions, senior military officials from Pakistan and India are expected to meet next month to come up with a clear plan to restore ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC), officials told The Express Tribune on Sunday.

The decision to lower the ongoing tensions at the LoC was taken during a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month.

The two premiers instructed their respective directors general military operations (DGMOs) to evolve a mechanism to avoid a repeat of ceasefire violations at the LoC.

A senior government official said that under the existing mechanism, the DGMOs talked to each other through a hotline every Tuesday.

“But at the New York summit the two prime ministers agreed that they [DGMOs] should have face-to-face talks,” he said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. He said the mechanism and venue for the meeting between the top military officials had yet to be worked out.

When contacted, a military official said it was not yet clear whether the talks would take place at the level of DGMOs or as part of the overall dialogue.

A foreign ministry official separately said the situation was still uncertain because New Delhi was not receptive to Islamabad’s peace overtures for now.

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday painted a grim picture about the prospects of resuming stalled peace talks with Pakistan. He said the two nuclear-armed neighbours still had not reached a stage where they could resume the process.

“I must make it very clear that we have not reached a stage where we can do something like resuming talks [with Pakistan],” he said after returning to India following a trip with Singh to Indonesia. He also termed the recent incidents along the LoC ‘upsetting’ and not conducive to the normalisation of ties.

Tensions along the LoC have flared in recent months. The Indian military has accused Pakistani forces of helping militants infiltrate Indian-administered Kashmir.

The ongoing tensions prompted army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to break his silence and term the Indian allegations as ‘unfortunate, unfounded and provocative’.

He insisted that the Pakistan Army was exercising restraint but the same should in no way be used as a pretext for levelling such “baseless allegations that vitiate prospects of regional peace.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2013.

Reader Comments (25)

  • Someone
    Oct 14, 2013 - 4:02AM

    What’s the point of this meeting…Kayani as pak coas,has zero credibility.Didn’t the pak army claim that bin laden was not sheltered in pak ?
    No wonder,the americans conducted their bin laden operation without informing pakistan.

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  • ghfgx
    Oct 14, 2013 - 4:38AM

    Two army chief should meet so as to reduce tensions. They both should bring peace to LOC and should listen to each of others concerns.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 14, 2013 - 4:55AM

    Two military leaders will accomplish more than any two politicians. Like it or not the military controls foreign policy in Pakistan and significantly influences policy in India. Good move.

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  • RAW
    Oct 14, 2013 - 5:01AM

    @someone
    You are right, this is for public and international consumption. Our forces are alerted to be more vigilant whenever Pakistan offers “peace” :-))

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  • akash
    Oct 14, 2013 - 5:07AM

    A foreign ministry official separately said the situation was still uncertain because New Delhi was not receptive to Islamabad’s peace overtures for now.
    Yea like pushing through 30 to 40 terrorist in Keran sector last few weeks. And I bet Pakistan will try to sneak in terrorists again in Kashmir before winter sets in.

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  • Anjaan
    Oct 14, 2013 - 5:26AM

    This seems like a Pakistani PM’s priority, as Indian Foreign Minister has made clear that the India Pakistan dialogue is not yet at a point, where suspended dialogue can be resumed.

    India’s National security adviser, Shiv shankar Menon, in a recent statement, said that there has been no change in Pakistan’s policy words India. He further added that there is little difference between the position of the Pakistani army and the Pakistani PM on India, it is only a matter of degree to which it differs.

    The Pakistani PM is actually acting as a peace broker between the Indian Govt. and the Pakistani army, and in that process trying to get India to offer concessions …… this seems like a bizarre situation ….. !Recommend

  • Mukulsharma
    Oct 14, 2013 - 8:16AM

    The Indian military Should not be allowed to get invilved in any policy discussion. Indian government (elected members of parliament)have the mandate to do it. We don,t want to do what Pakistanis have done since 1948 , made Army powerful and making political decisions. Indian Army ‘ will follow Government advice and adhere to rules. India is No Pakistan and never should be.

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  • SKChadha
    Oct 14, 2013 - 8:17AM

    Before meeting, DGMOs of Pak should be given ample training of negotiations and detailed briefing about ‘Simla Agreement’ and its background as well as on Lahore Declaration and all subsequent joint statements about peace on LOC.

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  • ModiFied
    Oct 14, 2013 - 9:03AM

    Indo-Pak peace ??? Forget about it. It will not happen for another 100 years at least. Talk of peace is just a deception. there might be peace when someone like Mahmood Achakzai or some ANP leader rules Pakistan.

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  • Junaid
    Oct 14, 2013 - 9:58AM

    @Mukulsharma: LOL. I admire your naivety. The only difference between the Indian Army and the Pak Army is that the Indian Army hasn’t staged as many coups. Their fundamental positions with respect to defense and governance are synchronous though.

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  • Oct 14, 2013 - 10:52AM

    @Junaid: “The only difference between the Indian Army and the Pak Army is that the Indian Army hasn’t staged as many coups.”

    Mr. Junaid – I feel Pity on your naivety. No coup has ever been occurred/ committed by Indian army. Civilian rule is the essence of democracy and it is deep rooted and exists in India.

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  • alladitta
    Oct 14, 2013 - 11:18AM

    @Junaid:
    how many coups has the Indian army staged. please enlighten the rest of us.

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  • Anonymous
    Oct 14, 2013 - 11:30AM

    @Junaid: Please don’t comment if you don’t know the difference. Except Pakistan entire world know the difference. In India civilian government decide who will be the army chief while in Pakistan army decide who will be the next PM

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  • Gp65
    Oct 14, 2013 - 12:02PM

    @Mukulsharma:
    The Indian military is as capable of giving input to the defense minister as RBI governor/ chairman of board of direct taxes to finance minister or chairman of railway board o railway minister. In other words these are career burau arts with knowledge and expertise that is an important input though not the only input to their respective ministers. It is desirable that this continues. Certainly unlike Pakistan, COAS of India does not control the foreign policy or security policy of the country and there are no indicators that he ever will. But the current level of engagement is necessary. Indian government servants do not and cannot overrule their political masters but they can and should continue to provide their best professional inputs.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Oct 14, 2013 - 12:25PM

    @RAW:
    Actually, it is also quite easy for us to predict the plans of the Indian military; whatever they say, they do the opposite.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Oct 14, 2013 - 12:48PM

    @Junaid:
    Educated at a madrassa? For once, apply evidence.

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  • Oct 14, 2013 - 4:41PM

    The foreign policy in Pakistan is driven by army. In case of India it is driven by hate and vengeance. Since the first defeat in 1947 in their attempt to capture Kashmir by surprise and force the Pakistan Army is seized with a hysterical urge to take revenge and in this effort have suffered more humiliation. Now they see nothing else but a burning desire to capture Kashmir. Unless good sense of “good of people” prevails there is hardly any likelihood of peace.

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  • Chai
    Oct 14, 2013 - 6:34PM

    @unbelievable:
    Their is no military influence in India’s foreign policy .. get that straight… Also their is a free media and social media watchdog which creates a havoc if such thing happens.

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  • R. Subramanian
    Oct 14, 2013 - 6:43PM

    As long as Pakistan is not sincere and honest these things won’t work, if Pakistan really cares about well being of its citizens then Pakistan has to stop spreading the hatred and stop terrorism once for all, when Pakistan stops terrorism peace with India will become reality, when terrorism is not there the negotiation will be smooth and problem can be solved easily.

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  • Rehman
    Oct 14, 2013 - 6:55PM

    @Pakistani:
    vital thing is that you peoples have to give up that habit, don’t finger point to others.

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  • Ram Dargad
    Oct 14, 2013 - 7:47PM

    @Junaid:
    Is that not a significant difference? There are other differences too.
    Indian army does not train terrorists & help them to infiltrate them in the neighbouring country.
    Indian Army is not accused of turning a blind eye to fugitives like Osama Bin Laden.
    Pakistani army is accused of a genocide in Bangladesh 1971, killing 500000 civilians.

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  • KUMAR
    Oct 15, 2013 - 9:48PM

    there will be peace between india and pakistan when MODI BECOMES PM in 2014.Pak army will not dare to push india

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  • Uday Kulkarni
    Oct 15, 2013 - 10:11PM

    General Kayani says that Indian Army General’s statements are unfortunate; unfounded and Provocative. This is laughable and while Pakistani population might accept it; don’t forget that the world media is present in India and watching on what is happening at Indian side of the LOC. Just a week ago; the president of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, during his European nations trip told the EU media that Non State actors are not coming from heaven but are coming from right across the border of Pakistan. How is it that just right at the LOC, so much of firing is going on and in last 2 months following happened :
    1) 5 Indian soldiers were beheaded and their heads severed & left at the LOC.
    2) 4 Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliation by India on LOC.
    3) A week ago; there was intense firing on LOC for 12-13 days continuously and 30/40 militants were fighting with the Indian army with automatic and high technology weapons.They were flushed out and peace restored on LOC.

    Last month when Nawaz Sharif was in Saudi Arabia and when 5 Indian soldiers were beheaded and severed headless bodies of Indian soldiers found; the foreign minister Sartaj Aziz claimed that the Indian soldier’s headless bodies were found 500 meters inside Indian territory and so it was Indian kashmiri militants or Maybe Indian Mujahideen. Comeon now give me a break. Common sense will tell that even if Indian militiants for arguments sake have to kill Indian soldiers; they need not have to risk coming to the border from indian side and then kill the soldiers on Pakistan border. Such statements ended up provoking Indian army and rub salt into their wounds.What followed was 4 Pakistani soldiers dead next week.
    While Pakistan can blame India for not responding to peace; the world media has already bought the Indian story and no one will ever believe illogocal arguments made by Pakistan.

    If Pakistan really wants peace; State or Non State actors; the cross border firing at LOC and infiltration of terrorists have to stop. MUST STOP. Else we will keep arguing for ages and Peace will not be achieved in the end.

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  • aka
    Oct 16, 2013 - 11:45PM

    if they do not want to talk then let it go,stop forcing for talk ,when they ready at time we will see if we are ready or not at that time,and india’s stop complaning to usa about us.

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  • Thinking Indian
    Oct 17, 2013 - 10:08AM

    @aka:
    It is not just India, the most of the world including USA, is complaining about Pakistan’s covert support to Jihadi terrorism, which has become a serious threat to the civilized world.
    It is always better to continue talking. In present situation, talks may not produce any positive results but may prevent further negative consequences. There are strong opponents of talks, in India as well as in Pakistan.

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