In the backdrop of continuing tension on India’s western front, the border guarding forces of India and Pakistan have decided to resume periodic commandant-level talks for maintenance of peace and exchange of information on the border. These had been suspended for the past one-and-a-half years because of tension between the two countries.
The decision was taken during three-day biannual talks between Directors General of Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers that concluded in Delhi Friday. The 23-member Indian delegation was led by BSF DG K K Sharma while Major General Muhammad Saeed, Director General, Pakistan Rangers (Sindh), led the neighbouring country’s 19-member delegation. Both delegations had representatives from respective Home and Foreign Ministries and officers from narcotics control and survey departments.
“The talks were held in a constructive atmosphere. The need for cooperation to maintain the sanctity of the borders was stressed upon. The Indian side firmly and strongly took up specific issues of concern, including incidents of unprovoked cross- border firing, smuggling of narcotics, infiltration attempts, tunneling and defence construction activities. The issue of inadvertent crossing over by the border population and ways to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed. It was agreed upon in deliberations that utmost caution and care should be exercised in dealing with the civilians,” a BSF statement said.
“The need for timely exchange of information at the field level with increased frequency of field commanders-level meetings, simultaneous coordinated patrolling etc were also discussed,” the statement said. It was agreed to hold the next round of talks in Pakistan, BSF sources said.