The much-hyped meeting between prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif only announced military dialogue as measures to maintain peace and tranquility at the Line of Control.
But the mechanism to have Director General of Military Operations level dialogue already exists, as top military commanders talk to each on a regular basis — only that the DGMOs of both armies have not met physically for a long time; they last met in 1999 after the Kargil operation.
After the meeting between the two prime ministers, national security advisor Shivshankar Menon announced that two DGMOs will identify measures to restore peace and tranquility along the LoC.
Expert believe that since the meeting between the two prime ministers failed to announce any major confidence building measure, they decided to go in for an easy option of leaving it to the military-level dialogue.
“The announcement is nothing more than a political gimmick. The DGMO cannot take any decision of his own and any strategic-level decision has to be made by the highest-level authority in the government. How can two armies take decisions of their own?” Maj Gen GD Bakshi (retd) told dna.
“We have regular flag meetings at the local commander level and DGMOs of both countries do talk to each other as and when require. What else do you expect from the army to talk? To the best of my military knowledge, they do not have anything else to talk,” he added.
Military experts claim that in this atmosphere, we should not have talks between Pakistan. “By talking to Pakistan, the country, which killed our soldiers at the border and involves in proxy war by pushing militants into India, we are losing the national self respect. And, now, you are leaving everything on the military commanders who do not have the right to open fire of their own,” a military expert said.
India and Pakistan have adopted a series of Confidence Building Measures like 2003 LoC Ceasefire agreement, and in 2006 , both agreed to finalise border ground rules, arrange frequent meetings between sector commanders and avoid construction of new defence posts along the LoC.
“Pakistan is desperate to have peace dialogue with India, as its biggest worry is going to be Afghanistan after withdrawal of the allied forces by 2014. Pakistan wanted to concentrate on its western border, instead of engaging with India,” Bakshi further said.