NEW DELHI - The United States has asked India to reconsider its stand and accept Pakistan's suggestion to include civilian diplomats in the proposed Indo-Pak DGMOs' dialogue mechanism, which is yet to take off despite the understanding reached between premiers Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh in New York in September.

India, however, is learnt to have turned down the suggestion, which was made during Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh's just concluded visit to Washington, saying Line of Control was a military problem and must be solved between the two armies. Singh, sources said, conveyed that India did not see a "diplomatic role in what was essentially a military issue", a report in the Indian Express said on Monday.

In fact, the original proposal from Pakistan was to have a Foreign Office-led affair, with the two foreign secretaries leading the mechanism on the two sides. When India expressed reservation over this, Islamabad revised its proposal ahead of the New York meeting, suggesting a DGMO (director general of military operations)-level dialogue, with civilian representatives on both sides, the newspaper claimed.

India, however, did not agree. The logic on the Indian side is that the nature of incidents at the LoC, be it beheading of soldiers, cross-border raids or killings by special battle groups, reflect military competitiveness in an area with negligible civilian population and controlled by armies on both sides. New Delhi's understanding is that it's for the two armies to workout protocols of peaceful behaviour on the LoC, and that involvement of non-military officials would turn this into a diplomatic issue.

This issue was discussed at some length between Nawaz Sharif and Manmohan Singh in New York, with the former trying to underline the importance of having civilian representation in the suggested mechanism.

While violence along the LoC has subsided with the onset of winter, the proposed meeting between the two DGMOs has still not taken place.

Meanwhile, Indian Defence Minister AK Antony said the Directors General of Military Operations of Pakistan and India will meet each other when they feel the need for it. Talking to media in New Delhi, he said, "The two DGMOs are talking and let them talk. Whenever they feel, they will meet. It is up to them."

The minister was asked why the meeting between the two DGMOs was not taking place despite directions issued by prime ministers of the two countries in this regard. "Of late, the incidents of firing on the Line of Control have come down. Not completely, but it has come down of late," Antony said on the situation on the LoC.

The DGMOs of the two sides talk to each other on Tuesdays and discuss the issue of ceasefire violations on the LoC and the International Border. Flag meetings to be held at local formation commander level are mostly fixed during these talks.

Not ruling out the possibility of incidents such as face-offs between their troops, Antony said India and China have now decided to resolve such issues amicably through the existing mechanisms.

On the incident regarding 5 Indian nationals’ detention by Chinese troops inside Indian territory, he said the people apprehended by PLA troops were civilians and not Army personnel and the matter was resolved amicably.

"Now our decision is to maintain peace and tranquillity. Whenever any incident takes place, whose possibility cannot be ruled out as the boundary is very long, both sides should come together and resolve it amicably," the defence minister said.

He was asked to comment on the situation along the Line of Actual Control in the sidelines of the Vijay Diwas to mark Indian victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

On the boundary talks with China, the minister said the country should not ‘expect miracles’ in these parleys. "Don't expect miracles in resolving the issue. What we are trying is that till a satisfactory solution on boundary issue is found, whenever incidents take place on border, through discussions and official mechanism, resolve those issues. Of late, we have been able to resolve the issues without much delay. That is an improvement," he said.

On the impact of the newly-signed Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, he said, "After the agreement, by and large, whenever any issue arises, we are able to resolve it as quickly as possible. It does not mean that there would not be any issues as long as the India-China border issue is unsettled, there can always be a possibility."