Prompted by intermittent firing and mortar shelling along the Jammu and Kashmir International Border despite the two countries agreeing to a ceasefire last week, the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers on Monday held a sector commander-level meeting and decided to maintain peace in the region.
“A BSF-Pakistan Rangers sector commander-level meeting was held at 05.30 pm today. The meeting went off in a conducive atmosphere with a prime focus to maintain peace along the border. It was further decided to hold the next meeting on June 21,” BSF public relations officer (Jammu Frontier) was quoted as saying by ANI.
While the Indian and the Pakistani Army had agreed to maintain the 2003 ceasefire agreement last week over a hotline communication, unprovoked shelling and firing by the Pakistan Rangers in the Pargwal and Kanachak regions on Sunday resulted in the death of two BSF personnel. Eleven civilians, including two women, were also injured in the incident.
After the meeting, the BSF spokesperson said that the two sides had agreed to ensure dialogue at all levels to develop confidence between the two border forces. “Today’s meeting is likely to create a firing-free environment, particularly for border area villagers on both sides. The commanders on both sides have agreed to keep talks on at every level to develop confidence between two border-guarding forces,” he said.
Last week, Director General of Military Operations, (DGMOs) of both countries had agreed to undertake measures to improve the situation along the border, which has seen 908 ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side leading to the death of 21 Indian soldiers. A total of 42 people also lost their lives in cross-border firing this year.
According to official data, there were 860 ceasefire violations in 2017 which led to the death of 15 Indian soldiers. The Pakistan Army, however, claims there were 1,813 ceasefire violations in 2017 while the number in 2018, so far, is 1,321.