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Military commanders of India, Pak agree to maintain peace

January 16, 2013 20:28 IST

Top military commanders of India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed not to allow escalation of tensions along the Line of Control, with the Pakistan Army asking its troops to observe the ceasefire strictly and exercise restraint.

The ways to defuse the tension on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, which was triggered by the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army, were discussed during a telephonic conversation between the Director Generals of Military Operations of the two sides. The army said that during the talks, which lasted for ten minutes, there was an understanding not to allow the situation to escalate.

The Pakistan Army's DGMO conveyed that orders have been passed to troops to strictly observe the ceasefire and exercise restraint, the army headquarters said.

Meanwhile, in Islamabad, the state-run Pakistan Radio claimed the country's DGMO lodged a strong protest with his Indian counterpart over the killing of a Pakistani soldier.

Earlier in the day, army chief General Bikram Singh rejected Pakistan's allegations that Indian troops had crossed the LoC and indulged in unprovoked firing, saying any casualty on the other side may have been due to retaliatory firing.

"Our jawans don't cross the LoC. We honour human rights. We fire in retaliation when provoked," he said in Khairiar in Uttar Pradesh after meeting the family of Lance Naik Hemraj, who was beheaded by Pakistani soldiers in a cross-LoC attack in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir on January 8.

Responding to the Pakistani accusation -- that one of its soldiers was killed in unprovoked firing along the LoC -- the army chief said it may have happened during cross-firing.

"These are normal activities that take place at the LoC. We have retaliated in response to cross-firing," he said.

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