Pakistan to â€˜reiterateâ€™ demand for greater role of UN observers along LoC - The Times of India LAHORE: Pakistan is likely to reiterate its demand for a 'greater role' for the UN military observers to end cross-Line of Control (LoC) tensions and to ensure better implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement along the 778-km long India-Pakistan border in Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistani daily 'The Express Tribune' reported this citing unnamed officials ahead of director general of military operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia's meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Amir Riaz, on the Pakistani side of the Wagah border near Lahore this week. The reported proposal is unlikely to be acceptable to New Delhi, as there has been a growing consensus on the irrelevance of the UN military observers in J&K, where they were first deployed in January 1949 following the Pakistan-backed tribal invasion. They have been stationed there permanently to oversee the observance of the ceasefire after the 1971 war. Union minister Shashi Tharoor recently said the observers were 'wasting their time' while describing their presence as needless following the 1972 Simla Agreement. Earlier, India's envoy to the UN Hardeep Puri's similar statement at a UNSC debate in February had led to an argument with his Pakistani counterpart, who insisted 'no bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan has overtaken or affected the role or legality' of the UN observers. The statement was in line with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani's earlier call for a greater role for them. Despite India's clear stance, the Pakistani daily quoted an anonymous official saying Islamabad would urge India to allow the observers 'to work freely' to ensure ceasefire along the LoC. "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," the official was quoted as saying. The daily quoted an anonymous Pakistani military official saying they would go "into the talks with a positive frame of mind'' as Pakistan "does not want further escalation in tensions". Maj Gen Riaz had invited Lt Gen Bhatia for the first such talks in 14 years to discuss a mechanism to end tensions along the LoC after the two spoke over a hotline last week. This came three months after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, agreed to hold DGMO level talks to ease tensions following their meeting at New York in September. The two leaders met amid near-daily exchange of fire along the LoC, which led to large-scale displacements of residents from forward areas for the first time in a decade. In 2013, 195 ceasefire violations were reported along the LoC, making it the worst year in terms of the breach of the 2003 agreement. Separately, New Delhi rejected Pakistani proposal to involve diplomats in the DGMO talks even as reports said Washington had asked India to accept the suggestion. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was quoted rejecting the proposal saying India "did not see a diplomatic role in an essentially military issue''. Yet Pakistan foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam reiterated Pakistan's "desire to include the two Foreign Offices in the DGMOs meeting to make it broad based''. Aslam added this was not acceptable to India. She added the meeting will be between the DGMOs "for the time being" but the proposal "is still on the table". Another Pakistani official hoped the rare meeting would result in the resumption of talks between the political leadership of the two countries with a caveat. "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.''