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BSF, Rangers hold flag meet to restore peace

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Arteev Sharma | Courtesy

Against the backdrop of the ongoing border skirmish, the Border Security Force today made it clear that Pakistan’s “provocative acts” in the form of unprovoked firing and targeting innocent civilians along the International Border were “unacceptable” and would not be tolerated.The BSF warned that the unprovoked firing and shelling would be responded with “equal and more measures”. It also objected to Pakistan Rangers’ help to armed intruders by allowing their free movement in close vicinity of the international boundary during night time for infiltration attempts.This was conveyed by the BSF to Pakistan Rangers during a “sector commander-level flag meeting” on the International Border in the Suchetgarh area of Jammu district today.Two hostile nations share 198-km-long International Border in the Jammu region which runs from Paharpur on the Kathua-Punjab border to the Chicken’s Neck area of Akhnoor.

The BSF has the operational responsibility of guarding the International Border.The flag meeting held on the request of Pakistan Rangers lasted for about two hours (from 11 am to 12: 45 pm). The BSF delegation comprising 17 officers was led by DIG, BSF, Jammu sector, PS Dhiman while Brig Amjad Hussain, Sector Commander, Chenab Rangers, Sialkot, led the Pakistan delegation comprising 14 officers, including three Wing Commanders.“This is the first sector commander-level meeting on the request of Pakistan Rangers between two border guarding forces since heavy shelling and firing experienced on the International Border in the month of September and the BSF gave a strong calibrated reply to Pakistan.

During this period of firing and shelling, the BSF foiled successfully a number of infiltration attempts from Pakistan soil. One intruder who infiltrated on September 4 in an area of the Arnia sector was also killed,” the BSF official spokesperson said.In September alone, a BSF man and a civilian were killed while 20 civilians injured in Pakistan shelling.

The BSF claimed that five Pakistan Rangers were among 18 Pakistan nationals killed in its “retaliatory act”. About 20,000 border residents had to leave their homes following intense shelling on this side of the border.The last sector commander-level meeting between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers was held on March 9. The meeting, which was held in a “cordial and constructive atmosphere”, the BSF “strongly objected to dastardly acts” of killing two BSF soldiers Constable Brijendra Bahadur and Constable KK Appa Rao in sniper fire on September 14 and August 25, respectively.

The BSF also lodged a protest against carrying out unprovoked cross-border firing and shelling by Pakistan Rangers on a number of Indian border villages targeting innocent civilians and their properties.The official spokesperson said, “Besides discussion on a number of issues related to border management, the BSF strongly objected to allowing movement of armed intruders in close vicinity of the international boundary during night time for infiltration attempts into India from the Pakistan territory”.

During detailed discussion, the Pakistan Rangers assured that required measures would be taken to maintain peace on the border and requested that the BSF should also restrain as much as possible in counter measures to ensure that minimum civilian loss was caused on the Pakistan side.

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