India-Pak flag meeting in Poonch tomorrow
Jammu/New Delhi, Jan 13(PTI) India and Pakistan will hold a flag meeting of Brigade Commanders in Poonch sector on Monday to de-escalate tension along the Line of Control even as the two sides traded fire overnight after a bid by infiltrators to sneak in was foiled.
At the flag meeting, the Indian side is expected to strongly protest the Pakistani intrusion and the beheading of a soldier and demand the return of the severed head believed to have been carried by Pakistani army regulars as a trophy after the killing of two soldiers on January eight.
"Brigade Commanders' flag meeting is being held tomorrow at Chakan-Da-Bagh LoC point in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir at noon," Public Relation Officer (PRO), Defence, Col R K Palta told PTI.
Pakistan agreed for the flag meeting in a communication through a hotline in the sector, he said, adding, "We had sought the flag meeting of the brigade commanders of the two sides."
The Indian Army had sent a hotline message to the Pakistan Army on January 11 and asked for a flag meeting to discuss the issues of brutal killing of two jawans by Pakistani troops, reportedly belonging to 29 Baloch Regiment, and increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in the Poonch sector.
Pakistan's High Commissioner Salman Bashir has already been summoned in Delhi by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai who lodged a strong protest over Pakistani Army action in which the two soldiers were killed and their bodies were subjected to "barbaric and inhuman mutilation".
Confidence Building Measures (CMBs) of cross-LoC trade and travel are also expected to come up for discussion during the flag meeting.
Pakistan has suspended cross-LoC trade and travel at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch sector since Thursday and Friday respectively.
The overnight exchange of fire along the LoC in Krishnagati in Poonch sector involved small arms and mortars and continued intermittently till 0200 hours today.
"Movement of 6 to 7 persons was detected close to LoC opposite Krishnagati sub-sector in Poonch sector around 2145 hours yesterday," Col Palta said.
Troops, guarding the borderline with Pakistan, opened fire on them, he said, adding after that heavy fire was exchanged between two sides.