Intruder killed by BSF; Pakistani troops target forward posts in Kathua

NEW DELHI: As the Indian and Pakistani armies agreed to strictly observe all their ceasefire agreements, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to resolving all issues bilaterally in a peaceful manner.

“On key issues, our position remains unchanged. I do not think I need to reiterate it,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said when asked about India’s core concerns, including on the issue of cross-border terrorism.

His comments followed a joint statement issued after a hotline discussion between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan, during which the two sides agreed on a strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors with effect from Wednesday midnight.

Asked about the development, the MEA spokesperson said, “As regards the joint statement of the DGMOs and related issues, I would refer you to the Ministry of Defence.”

“On relations with Pakistan, as we have said earlier, India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. We have always maintained that we are committed to addressing issues, if any, in a peaceful and bilateral manner,” he added.

India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement in 2003, but it has hardly been followed in letter and spirit over the past several years with more violations than an observance of the pact.

Army officials asserted that there would be no let-up in their fight against terrorism or in troops deployment along the borders, following the new commitment that they described as a fresh attempt at peace in the region.