Bonhomie seems to have replaced the hostilities on the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
From Kargil to Uri, the Indian army held a series of flag meetings with their Pakistani counterparts to extend Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (birthday of Prophet Mohammad) greetings and exchange gifts along the LoC recently. What came as a big surprise was the flag meeting between Indian and Pakistani soldiers in the Kargil sector which witnessed a full-fledged war between the two sides in 1999.
“The meeting was organised by the Indian side on the occasion of Milad -un-Nabi to extend best wishes and greetings to the Pakistan army soldiers. The meeting was conducted in a cordial manner with pleasantries and gifts being exchanged by the two sides,” said a defence spokesman at Srinagar.
Around 543 jawans and officers had died while defending the motherland in 1999 when hundreds of young soldiers climbed the icy heights in Drass, Kargil and Batalik sectors to throw out Pakistani infiltrators who had occupied peaks on Indian side of the Line of Control.
The meeting also came five months after Pakistani army broke a 14-year-old lull in the Kargil sector when they repeatedly violated the ceasefire by firing indiscriminately on the Indian forward postsalong the Line of Control.
Indian army also organised a similar meeting at Kaman Post-Aman Setu in the Uri sector of north Kashmir as a gesture of goodwill. “In a brief ceremony officers and jawans of both Indian and Pakistan army deployed on Line of Control greeted each other on the auspicious occasion of Milad-un-Nabi and also exchanged sweets,” the spokesman said.
These meetings, the defence spokesman said, have added importance in light of the measures being instituted by India and Pakistan to restore normalcy at the Line of Control. “This initiative has been widely appreciated by the local population as it further reinforces the commitment of the Indian Army towards ensuring tranquility, peace and prosperity in the region,” he said.