BSF and Pakistan Rangers break ice: Move forward for an unscheduled meeting to increase confidence

New Delhi(dna): Contrary to speculations, Director General-level talks between Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers moved a step forward on Thursday as the two forces on a positive note decided to firm up confidence building modalities in an unscheduled meeting on Friday.


The development comes as a positive sign after sudden death of NSA-level talks between the two countries on Hurriyat and Kashmir issue.

“Talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, were very positive and forward looking. We hope that further firming up of modalities tomorrow (on Friday) will lead to peace at the international border,” director general of BSF, D K Pathak told dna.

In Friday’s meeting the two border guarding forces are expected to thrash out modalities that could go a long way to build confidence between them thus paving the way for reduced incidents of ceasefire violations and infiltration.

The coming around of Pakistan Rangers, sources said, could be attributed to a very effective response of ceasefire violations from the Indian side.

“Contrary to media speculations, Pakistan Rangers team did not raise any hostile matter and was very cordial. The IB was also at peace as no ceasefire violation was reported yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday). This surprised us too,” said a source privy to the meeting.

The BSF is looking forward to firm up modalities on coordinated patrolling with Pakistan Rangers along the international border from Jammu to Rann of Kutch.

“As joint patrolling is still a far-fetched idea given the situation between two countries, we can begin by coordinated patrolling whereby prior arrangements are made to decide who will patrol when and from which points,” said sources.

In agreement that dialogue is the best way to reduce tension at the border and bring down ceasefire violations, the two sides are expected to ready a blueprint of official communication at various levels.

“The idea is to have more layers of communications to talk more, meet more often as it could lead to lesser confusion and reduced firing. We are working out to have a system in place where the two sides can hold parleys whenever an exigency arises,” a senior level official said.

The two border guarding forces are also looking at initiating friendly matches of team sports like football, hockey, volleyball etc. between them to reduce tension through exchange of pleasantries that games can offer.

BSF sources said in Friday meeting they are hopeful of firming up modalities on the issues of construction and maintenance of defence related structure along the border and clearing of Sarkanda and foliage on Pakistan sides along the zero line to have a clear view of the border to help stop infiltration.

“The two sides are also expected to fine tune the arrangements of handing over innocent people back who inadvertent crossover to eachother’s territory from both sides,” sources added.