Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday consulted the three service chiefs on the border situation against the backdrop of the ongoing ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the International Border. While Army Chief General Dalbir Singh is learnt to have briefed Jaitley, the meeting was also attended by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan, Defence Secretary R K Mathur and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval besides others.
Meanwhile, the Indian and Pakistani sides on Tuesday agreed to hold flag meetings to diffuse the situation along the border. The consensus is learnt to have been reached at a Directorate General of Military Operation (DGMO)-level telephonic talks between the two countries that were held at noon on Tuesday. Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the call was initiated by DGMO of Pakistan Lt Gen Sarfraz Chawdhary and lasted for 10 minutes. Sources said the ceasefire violations along the International Border prominently figured in the talks. DGMO Lt Gen P R Kumar conveyed India’s protest against ceasefire violations as well as firing on the civilian areas by the Pakistani side.
While the DGMO talks take place every Tuesday, they are routinely dealt with by Additional or deputy level officers in the DGMO directorates of both the countries. This is the first meeting “at least over the past two months when the DGMOs have directly spoken to each other,” sources said. While the two sides have agreed to carry out joint flag meetings to diffuse the situation, the locations will be decided as the situation demands.
The parties concerned have been directed to submit reports on the current status of construction.