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Antony, Army chief meet over LoC firing

Army sources say that while the meeting was a one-on-one encounter, the minister had called the General to inquire about the heavy firing across the international border (IB) – managed mostly by the Border Security Force (BSF) - that had begun two days ago and are still continuing.

Even though the Conference was discussing the recently concluded Keran face-off when the army had reportedly beaten back a group of about 35 terrorists, seeking to infiltrate into Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC) and the barbed wire fencing that abuts it and the IB, army sources deny that the two top functionaries of the country tasked with maintaining security discussed the past.

The meeting that took place at about 5 pm was not very long either. However, in light of the expected visit of the union home minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde to Sambha, where a separate group of terrorists were able to infiltrate into an army encampment and kill an officer, a lieutenant colonel and two jawans, just before the Keran incident, the talk between Antony and General Singh gains importance.

Also, considering that the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is on a visit to Russia and China, two key countries which shares New Delhi’s concerns about Afghanistan-Pakistan, this Monday’s meeting becomes significant.

On top of that, the Pakistan prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama, where he is expected to seek US intervention in a Kashmir solution, evidently in a replay of the past, also has the ceaseless firing across the IB and the LoC becomes important.

Military observers also say that the Pakistan forces have been firing in Samba because Indian troops had shelled them on the recently held Eid day, thus not allowing them any respite on a day of celebration.

Meanwhile, the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, has sent his proposal for a meeting with his counterpart from Pakistan, to the ministry and is awaiting the government’s direction on it. The decision whether the meeting actually takes place will ultimately be dependent on what the ministry of defence, ministry of external affairs and the prime minister’s office decides.
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