Soldiers' killing: Pakistan, India speak over hotline

Islamabad, Aug 7 (IANS) Top military commanders of Pakistan and India Wednesday spoke on hotline to reduce tensions along the Line of Control (LoC), military sources said following the killing of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries established contact a day after Indian and Pakistan militaries accused each other of violation of a 2003 ceasefire by resorting to firing, reported Xinhua.

Indian defence officials said that Pakistani troops attacked an Indian post along the LoC in the Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir late Monday night, killing five Indian soldiers.

Pakistan military says that Indian troops fired on a post Wednesday and critically injured two soldiers.

"A special hotline contact was established this (Wednesday) morning between the DGMOs of Pakistan and Indian Army to discuss the situation arising due to recent Indian allegations on the LoC," Pakistani military sources said.

"Pakistan Army DGMO strongly and categorically rejected Indian allegations of LoC violation by Pakistani troops and killing of five Indian soldiers at LoC in Poonch sector on night of Aug 5," the sources said.

They said Pakistan Army also lodged a strong protest during special hotline contact for LoC violation by Indian troops in Pandu sector Wednesday in which two Pakistani soldiers were seriously wounded.

"It was reiterated by Pakistani DGMO that Pakistan Army (will) abide by the ceasefire agreements existing between the two countries," the military sources said.

The recent incidents heightened tensions between the neighbours at a time when Pakistan's new government is trying to improve relations with India and to resume the official dialogue.

Officials in the two countries say that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Pakistan said last week that it has proposed dates to India for resumption of the official dialogue and awaits Indian response.

Pakistan declared a unilateral ceasefire along the LoC in 2003 which was responded positively by India.

The foreign ministry said Pakistan remains committed to the ceasefire agreement of November 2003 which is an important confidence building measure and should be respected in letter and spirit.