DGMOs Meeting: Pakistan To Seek Bigger Role For UN Observers In Kashmir

DGMOs Meeting: Pakistan To Seek Bigger Role For UN Observers In Kashmir

22 December 2013
Express Tribune
Kamran Yousaf

Islamabad: Islamabad will seek a bigger role for UN military observers deployed along the Line of Control when senior military officials from Pakistan and India meet this week at the Wagah border. “Pakistan is going into the talks with a positive frame of mind as it does not want further escalation in tensions,” a senior military official told The Express Tribune ahead of the crucial parleys between the two countries’ directors general of military operations (DGMOs). The DGMO of Pakistan Army has invited his Indian counterpart for rare face-to-face discussions on December 24 (Tuesday) to discuss recent tensions along the LoC. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that Pakistan would push for a greater role of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), in addition to proposing the reinforcement of the 2003 ceasefire agreement, to avoid further hostilities between the two neighbours. “Pakistan will urge India to allow UNMOGIP to work freely so that it can effectively ensure ceasefire on both sides of the LoC,” said the official. “We have given UN military observers unhindered access on our side of the LoC, but they do not enjoy the same freedom on the Indian side… Their movement has been highly restricted by India,” he added. UNMOGIP was established in 1949 under the resolution passed by the world body’s Security Council to supervise ceasefire along the LoC. Meanwhile, a Foreign Office official voiced hope the DGMOs meeting would pave the way for the resumption of stalled talks between Pakistan and India. “Restoring the ceasefire along the LoC will certainly be good for the atmosphere but, in the long run, both countries need to address the root cause of these problems,” he insisted, however. The official added that resolving long standing disputes, including Jammu and Kashmir, was paramount to ensuring durable peace between Pakistan and India. In the past, Pakistan proposed third-party investigations into the incidents of hostilities along the LoC, but India has shown little interest in the suggestion.