Top level commanders of both the armies participated in a flag meeting held in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir and agreed to keep channels of communication open between local commanders and exercise restraint at the Line of Control (de-facto border).

Indian and Pakistani armed forces have agreed to institute mechanisms for peace and tranquility at the border amid increased reports of ceasefire violations by both sides.

“Indian and Pakistan armies held a battalion commander-level flag meeting at Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch Sector in the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations and casualties to the civilian population in the past several months,” a statement from the Indian Army said.

Both the sides also discussed the resumption of trade and transit through Chakan-Da-Bagh route. Earlier, India had stopped trade through Chakan-Da-Bagh in July after heavy shelling by the Pakistani army.

Bus service was started on Poonch-Rawalakot road in 2006 and trade in 2008. At present, cross LoC travel between two sides takes place every Monday and trade on four days from Tuesday to Friday.

However, following the killing of an Indian paramilitary personnel and his wife in an alleged unprovoked Pakistani shelling at Khari Karmara, trade and travel through Chakkan Da Bagh were suspended. Some 116 Pakistan travelers, who had come to the Indian side through Chakkan Da Bagh and been stranded on the Indian side for the past seven weeks, were sent home via Uri-Muzaffarabad road on Monday last.

According to an Indian Army document, 11 people, including 9 soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army in July. There were 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT (border action team) attack and two infiltration bids from the Pakistani side in June in which 4 people, including 3 soldiers, were killed and 12 injured. In May, there were 79 ceasefire violations, according to Indian Army data.

Frequent skirmishes between the two armies have forced almost 3000 people on the Indian side of the border to leave their homes in search of peaceful abodes elsewhere. Thousands of displaced Kashmiris have been staying in temporary camps built by the administration.

Sputnik