Indo-Pak border skirmishes: Flag meet likely to be held on Monday

CeasefireMonday's meeting is likely to take place either at the commandant level or DIG level at BoP octroi in the RS Pura sector in Jammu district. (Reuters)

Amid high tension triggered by heavy firing and shelling along Indo-Pak border in Jammu frontier during past fortnight, Indian and Pakistani troops are likely to hold a flag meeting on Monday to de-escalate tension.

"The flag meeting is likely to be held on Monday (with Pakistan Rangers) to defuse the tension and end ceasefire violations along International Border," a senior BSF officer said.

"We are making all efforts to hold the flag meeting to defuse the tension and response from other side has already been received," he said.

Nearly 200 km-long International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts in Jammu frontier witnessed heavy shelling of mortars and rockets and firing from automatic weapons since October 14 on a daily basis not only on Border Out Posts (BoPs) but also in dozens of border villages.

Two jawans were killed and 32 persons injured, including 18 civilians mostly women and children.

BSF troops had earlier tried to hold flag meeting on October 18 and 20 with Pakistan Rangers on IB at two forward BoPs in Samba district, but Pakistan Rangers did not turn up for meeting after a long wait by BSF troops.

Monday's meeting is likely to take place either at the commandant level or DIG level at BoP octroi in the RS Pura sector in Jammu district.

BSF sent communications via hotlines to the Rangers from Nikowal and Shidra and octroi BoPs and has received their response.

Perturbed by the shelling and firing along IB on civilian population, J&K government had pressured the Centre to either retaliate strongly or hold talks with Pakistan to end the ceasefire violations.

In this regard, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and Minister Sham Lal Sharma had visited the forward border hamlets on Friday to give morale support to the border population.

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