Guns fall silent for the time being at India-Pak border

NEW DELHI (TIP): With two days of silence on the border and a “successful” flag meeting with Pakistan Rangers on Wednesday, BSF is now hopeful that there will be break in ceasefire violations on the India-Pak border, for some time at least. Home Minister Rajnath Singh was on August 27 also briefed by the BSF on the ground situation along the border in Jammu and Kashmir where Pakistan has been continuously firing on frontier posts and civilian areas.

According to sources, Pakistan rangers finally responded to BSF’s repeated calls for flag meeting and the two sides met in Akhnoor sector in Jammu on Wednesday afternoon. Sources said, the meeting was largely an “icebreaking exercise” where it was decided that further discussions on stopping ceasefire violations would be taken in a sector-level meeting to be held in the next couple of days. “The meeting was positive and we hope things will improve from here on the border.

But we will wait and watch their response. In these past few days, we have inflicted heavy casualties on Pakistan side. This may have pushed them to come on the negotiating table. Had they done this earlier, force and civilian lives on both sides could have been saved,” said a BSF officer. A total of eight casualties on Pakistan side have taken place in the recent firings while two civilians have died on the Indian side apart from scores of injuries on both sides.

Firing and shelling from across the border have taken place in civilian areas in Arnia, R S Pura, Ramgarh, Akhnoor and Kanachak forward areas along IB in Jammu and Samba districts. During the hour-long briefing to Rajnath Singh, BSF DG D K Pathak informed the Home Minister about the damage caused to the assets of BSF as well as some damage caused to the civilians living close to the International Border following firing and shelling by soldiers of Pakistan Rangers. The Home Minister enquired about the morale of the forces deployed in the areas affected by Pak shelling. He was told that the morale of the forces was very high, home ministry statement said.

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