India and Pakistan on Tuesday held a flash flag meeting on the Line of Control (LoC) between two parts of Kashmir to cool down the tempers which had heightened after 12 hour long gunfight which erupted on Monday.
Indian soldiers march toward Line of Control between India and Pakistan
The guns have finally fallen silent in the Nowgam sector in the border district of Kupwara in Indian Administered Kashmir after a fierce gunfight broke between the two sides late Monday evening. According to Indian defence authorities 10-12 Pakistan soldiers sneaked onto the Indian side and opened fire. When they were challenged the firefight began and one Indian soldier was killed. A defence spokesman said that it was a violation of the ceasefire and the attack was repulsed. Even though reports suggested that four Pakistani soldiers had been killed, no confirmation was forthcoming.
However, the firing stopped early on Tuesday morning and both the sides established contact on the hotline. A flag meeting was organized at Teetwal around 105 miles from capital Srinagar, during which the Indian side strongly protested against the shooting. Nothing was said officially as to what transpired and the Indian officers who attended the meeting said that they will brief senior officials. Sources said that Pakistan protested against a reported attempt by the Indian side to build a bunker in 'no man's land'.
R. K. Rakwal a top army official in Jammu said that it was a Pakistani attempt to disrupt the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir: "One reason for this firing is to send too many militants as near complete normalcy has been restored. But we are well prepared, they can send as many militants possible, but I think situation is well under control"
Breach of ceasefire
It was for the first time since the November 2003 ceasefire that such a major breach has been reported. Earlier this year, one fatal casualty had been reported from the border in Jammu region
Then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, announced the ceasefire on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr (Muslim festival) on behalf of General Pervez Musharraf's Government on November 23, 2003. The offer was quickly accepted by India.
The ceasefire between the two Armies has held since November 26, 2003 -- the date of the commencement of the holy month of Muslim fasting. Earlier that year, in August 2003, Pakistani President, General Pervez Musharraf, had indicated his willingness to declare a ceasefire. Even though Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri militants have been crossing the LoC and the International Border illegally since November 2003, there has been no shooting incidents between the security forces of the two sides in the Kashmir valley in the last five years.