New Delhi: Amidst mounting tension between arch rivals India and Pakistan, top diplomats of both the nations held their first telephonic talk with each other. This shows that there is a desire to tone down rhetoric and get back to normal business.
Despite the fact that troops of both the nations are regularly exchanging fire from small and heavy arms at the border and their leaders are trying to insult each other as much as possible the two nations haven’t abandoned diplomatic channels.
For many people who are hoping to see peace prevail in the region once again following the Uri terrorist attack and the subsequent surgical strikes by India in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK), this is the first time that national Security Advisors (NSA) of both the nations spoke to each other
In the meantime unprovoked firing from Pakistan side was resorted to several times during the day. Reports suggest that Defence sources here said Pakistani troops, without provocation, had fired at Indian posts using small arms and mortar shells in Poonch area near the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border that divides Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries. The Pakistan Army made similar allegations against the Indian military. Both sides, however, maintained that no damage was caused in the exchange of fire that continued for several hours, sending villagers near the border into a tizzy.
Meanwhile reports suggest that firing was also reported at the Chakri outpost of the Border Security Force (BSF) along the International Boundary as frontier guards repulsed an intrusion bid by 8-10 people in a counter-offensive. A search operation was launched in the border belt of Gurdaspur district of north Punjab following an unsuccessful infiltration bid. The latest in a series of border skirmishes came a day after militants attacked the local headquarters of a counter-insurgency military unit on the banks of the Jhelum river in a north Kashmir village on Sunday night, killing a paramilitary trooper.
The good thing among escalating tension was the NSA talking to each other. It was for the first time since the war hysteria, that the two countries sent a feeler of reducing tension when the NSAs from the two countries had a telephonic conversation on Monday morning. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, said Pakistan’s NSA Nasser Janjua and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval talked to defuse the tension that has gripped the border and the LoC.
Aziz said, “Both the officials stressed the need to establish contact to reduce tensions along the Line of Control”. However, there was no official word from the Indian side about the telephonic talk between the two NSAs. In Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met the leaders of all Pakistani political parties to discuss the ongoing rift with India. Sharif told the all-party meeting that Pakistan “will leave no stone unturned to highlight” the Kashmir issue at all international forums. “We stand united on matters of national importance, particularly Kashmir.”
PTI chief Imran Khan who has been organizing massive rallies against Sharif was not present during the meeting.