India, Pak stop clash, to convene flag meet at LoC

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Jammu, Jul 29: After 16 hours of clash near Kupwara, Indian and Pakistani troops have stopped exchanging fire across the Line of Control (LoC). India has sought a flag meeting with Pakistan a day after skirmishes at the Line of Control dividing the two countries resulted in the reported deaths of one Indian soldier and four Pakistani soldiers.

Islamabad is yet to agree to participate in the flag meeting in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara-Nowgam Sector. Monday, July 27 skirmish is the sixth ceasefire violation that has taken place at the LoC in the past three weeks after Islamabad gave an assurance that it was committed to maintaining the ceasefire. On May 20 India and Pakistan resumed their first composite dialogue to maintain peace on the LoC after the new government assumed office in Islamabad.

Pakistani soldiers crossed the LoC in Kaiyan Bowl in the Nowgam Sector in Baramulla District and threatened an Indian surveillance detachment of five soldiers, keeping a watch in the area, at around 3.30 pm.

The Pakistani soldiers demanded that the Indian observation post be vacated. According to the 2003 ceasefire agreement, India and Pakistan had agreed not to construct any new bunkers.

An Army soldier, Mahesh, belonging to 22 Rajput battalion was killed in the exchange of fire. His body has been recovered now.

The incident comes a week after Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said the peace process between the two countries is "under stress".


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