New Delhi, Oct. 19: The firing and shelling in Jammu last night indicates that the ceasefire violations this year have spread from the Line of Control (LoC) to a part of the International Boundary that Pakistan disputes despite Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif agreeing on September 30 in New York to restore peace.
Army sources said there was no directive from either the Prime Minister’s Office or the defence minister to hold a special dialogue of the Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan — an announcement made after the New York meeting.
Militarily, the positions seem to have hardened since the meeting. This is because of suspected Pakistani backing to alleged Taliban militias who intruded across the LoC in the Keran sector and held off an Indian Army brigade for two weeks.
Other sources indicated that the Indian military response to the breach of the LoC was inappropriate, pointing to a command failure in the army’s deployment.
Last night’s exchanges show that the ceasefire violations have spread south of the Pir Panjal range to areas that are not mountainous. The army normally expects violence to increase as the winter sets in. The winter sets in quicker in the Pir Panjal and north of it than in the south.
The targeting of citizens in R.S. Pora also reflects how people in the margins are often caught in the great rivalry over Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
There is an institutionalised weekly telephone hotline dialogue between the DGMOs of India and Pakistan. But after the Singh-Sharif meeting in New York, it was expected that there would be directives for a special dialogue to sustain peace along the border in Jammu and Kashmir that would go beyond the routine.