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Pak to seek bigger role for UNMOGIP at DGMOs meet tomorrow

Islamabad (PTI): Pakistan is expected to seek a bigger role for the UN military observers deployed along the Line of Control when the Director Generals Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan meet for the first time in 14 years tomorrow.

“Pakistan is going into the talks with a positive frame of mind as it does not want further escalation in tensions,” an unnamed senior military official was quoted as saying in a media report ahead of the much anticipated crucial parleys between the two countries’ DGMOs.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that Pakistan would push for a greater role of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), in addition to proposing the reinforcement of the 2003 ceasefire agreement to avoid further hostilities between the two nuclear neighbours.

“Pakistan will urge India to allow UNMOGIP to work freely so that it can effectively ensure ceasefire on both sides of the LoC,” the official was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune daily.

“We have given UN military observers unhindered access on our side of the LoC, but they do not enjoy the same freedom on the Indian side…Their movement has been highly restricted by India,” he added.

The UNMOGIP was established in 1949 under the resolution passed by the world body’s Security Council to supervise ceasefire along the LoC.

The DGMOs of both the nations, who talk almost every week over a hotline, last met face-to-face after the Kargil war in 1999.

The military officers will meet on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border and discuss ways in which the ceasefire agreement can be upheld at the LoC.

India will be represented by Lt General Vinod Bhatia and the Pakistani side will be led by Major General Aamer Riaz.

The meeting comes three months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif proposed this meeting to defuse tensions along the LoC.

Pakistan had initially proposed to include the Foreign Ministry officials in the meeting of senior military officials but India had rejected it.

However, Pakistan Foreign Office said last week, “For the time being, this meeting will be between the DGMOs but our proposal is still on the table”.

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