Barely a month after his first meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,where Islamabad had agreed to enforce the ceasefire along the Line of Control,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said he was very disappointed that this had not translated into reality on the ground.
With firing continuing along certain parts of the international border and infiltration attempts still being made on the LoC,Singh said he could only hope that even at this late hour Sharif would realise that this will not do any good to the situation.
Let me say that I am disappointed,because in the New York meeting there was a general agreement on both the sides that peace and tranquility should be maintained on the Line of Control as well as on the international border and this has not happened. It has come to me as a big disappointment.
Singh said he wondered why it was difficult for Pakistan to enforce a ceasefire that had been in place for a decade now.
We had agreed at that meeting that the ceasefire which was made effective in 2003,if it has held ground for 10 years,it could be made to hold ground later on also. The fact that this is not happening,is something which is really a matter of disappointment. I sincerely hope that at this late hour Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will recognize that this is a development which is not good for either of the two countries.
Singhs comments came as tensions grew on the India-Pak frontier in Jammu and Kashmir. While one BSF soldier has been killed in firing along the international border,the Army has reported major infiltration attempts in the Keran sector of the LoC.
Singh had taken considerable political risk by meeting Sharif in New York as it came on the back of the BJP demanding he call off the talks due to continued violence on the Line of Control through August and September.
In fact,just a couple of days before the meeting,an armoured military unit was attacked in Samba. The incident had taken place just as the PM landed in the US and even though the Indian side was extremely upset,the government lost no time in issuing a statement that it would go ahead with the meeting.
Singh did some plain talking at the meeting,where even tea was not served,but agreed to the Pakistani proposal to have the Directors General of Military Operations on both sides meet and find ways to jointly enforce the ceasefire. While the two officials have been in touch,they have still not set up a meeting as there seems to be no improvement in the situation.