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Uncharacteristic lull prevails along LoC post cancellation of Indo-Pak talks

In the run-up to the talks, militancy had escalated in Kashmir. At least five security personnel were killed by militants in different incidents.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 20, 2014, 08.45 AM IST
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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti slammed the Modi-led central government’s decision to cancel the talks with Pakistan.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti slammed the Modi-led central government’s decision to cancel the talks with Pakistan.
SRINAGAR: An uncharacteristic quiet descended along the line of control and international border in J&K, with not even a single shot being fired by the rival armies for more than 24 hours after India on Monday cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan to protest Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s meeting with Kashmiri separatists.

Patches of the line of control and the international border in Jammu have seen routine violation of ceasefire since the middle of July, mostly in RS Pora and Poonch sectors.

Arnia in RS Pora sector was the last battleground between the two sides, with Pakistani gunners pounding three border villages for nearly five hours. These hamlets suffered extensive damage to property and a large number of animals perished. As Pakistan targeted Treva, Suhagpur and Pindi villages, India’s BSF pounded Charwah and Chaprar hamlets falling in Sialkot sector. BSF officials said Pakistani Rangers used 82 mm mortars for attacking 20 forward positions and they had to adequately retaliate to silence them.

“Shelling and firing have been taking place on a daily basis since August 5 in both the areas,” a police official said. “But it stopped soon after the talks were cancelled,” he added.

In the run-up to the talks, militancy had also escalated in Kashmir. At least five security personnel, including policemen, were killed by militants in different incidents in south Kashmir last week.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday, slammed the Modi-led central government’s decision to cancel the talks with Pakistan. India and Pakistan cannot live in perpetual hostility and there is no option for peace other than dialogue and reconciliation, she said. “Dialogue process can’t be held hostage to hawkish voices or unforeseen interruptions,” she said Pulwama. “It is unfortunate that the Modi government has failed to reach the visionary levels of (BJP leader and former PM) Atal Bihari Vajpayee who set a new course for resolving South Asia’s endemic problems.”

Mufti said J&K had a huge stake in subcontinent peace as the state had suffered immensely because of continued hostility between the two countries. The reason given for calling off foreign secretary-level talks is “patently fake as the Hurriyat leaders have always been meeting the Pakistani diplomats on different occasions”, she said, adding, “Visionary leaders like Vajpayee seized upon such interactions to give a new direction to Indo-Pak relations which could lead to lasting peace in the entire region.”

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