Assessing if Pakistan serious about ceasefire, says India

Moscow, Oct 20 (IANS) India said Sunday it would assess the situation arising out of a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the border in Jammu and Kashmir as it develops and leave it for the time being to the two directors general of military operations who have been tasked to restore peace.

"The DGMOs are in touch and they have spoken to each other.. It is for them to find a way, they have been tasked to do this," an informed source said as Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Moscow for an official visit.

The source said that the DGMOs, who speak on the hotline installed between the two capitals every Tuesday, have spoken but not met as yet.

During the Sep 29 New York meeting between Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, both sides had agreed to have their DGMOs meet regularly in order to maintain peace on the Line of Control.

The year has seen several violations of the 2003 ceasefire, including the beheading of an Indian soldier and the killing of five soldiers, which provoked widespread anger in India.

"Let's give them (DGMOs) a chance," said the source.

"We'll assess the situation as it develops and see whether there is seriousness or not on the Pakistani side to restore the ceasefire and respect it. It is too early to say.. Let the DGMOs talk to each other and see if they can do it .. It is too early to draw conclusions," the source added.

The source said that the increased ceasefire violations could be linked to "infiltration attempts".

"Many of the ceasefire violations are linked to infiltration attempts. This is the time of the year when a lot of infiltration happens.. before the snows, this happens."

"Let's analyse how the pattern differs this time. There is certainly an increase over last year. We'll see the pattern and draw conclusions," the source said.

Two Border Security Force personnel were injured on Friday when Pakistani troops opened fire at 10 border out posts and civilian areas along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Saturday that the central government needs to take up the issue of ceasefire violations with Pakistan in a "strong manner" as it was getting "more serious" now.

(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at ranjana.n@ians.in)

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