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India, Pakistan hold peace talks as Indian soldier loses life in LoC firing

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photo credit: indiatoday.intoday.in
source: intoday.in

By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Amid a growing war of words and firing from across the border, Indian and Pakistani border security forces sat across the table in a meeting to “talk about the future” even as an Indian Army soldier was injured in a cross-border firing.

According to highly-placed sources in the Border Security Force, India did most of the talking on the first day of the director general level peace talks with the Pakistan Rangers. All issues, including ceasefire violations and sniper firing targeting Indian soldiers were raised.

As the peace talks concluded “cordially”, both sides agreed to take steps to start coordinated patrolling at the border, along with the monitoring of ceasefire violations.

Saturday, last day of the director-general talks will also see an accord signed between the two sides.

“India did most of the talking and Pakistan was receptive. The talks concluded in a cordial manner.

“Pakistan mentioned some incidents of the past. We said we would not gain anything from the past. We said if you have 20 points, we have 40 points. Let’s devise a system so that this situation is controlled,” an official said.

i1.tribune.com.pk/
i1.tribune.com.pk/

Meanwhile, the Pakistani delegation, according to the sources, said they were under pressure from the civil society for maintaining peace and had the responsibility of protecting civilians like the Indian side.

The major focus of the meetings was to open more channels of communication, opening sector level communications and take it to battalion and post level.

As the talks went on, an Indian soldier was injured in Pakistani firing on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

“Lance Naik Bhupender Singh was injured in Pakistan Army sniper fire on the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector this (Thursday) evening,” defense ministry officials said.

In the meeting, Pakistan raised the issue of airspace violation while India raised the infiltration issue, and questioned how the Pakistan Rangers could not be aware of it.

However, the issue of involving a third party for monitoring truce violations was not raised by Pakistan but the Rangers admitted their failure in being unable to check infiltration.

“They said they don’t have hi-tech infrastructure along the border like India,” an official said.

According to reports, Pakistan had listed in its agenda a revived role for the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) for intervening in ceasefire violations.

The talks assume special significance as earlier scheduled talks between the national security advisers of India and Pakistan was called off following disagreement over the discussion of the Kashmir issue.

Nawaz_Sharif_Narendra_Modi_AP_360x270The decision for reviving the meeting was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at their meeting in Ufa.

It was envisaged in the meeting that the top leadership of both the border guarding forces will meet periodically and discuss issues of relevance to both the forces.

Issues requiring coordinated efforts like dealing with drug menace, smuggling, simultaneous coordinated patrolling, timely exchange of information etc. were to form the core of discussions.

After the meeting in Ufa, there have been over 100 ceasefire violations since Modi and Sharif met in Ufa. Till June, there have been 199 ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the international border while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. In 2013, the number was at 347.

In August, there was at least one incident of sniper firing that killed a soldier while two similar incidents occurred in July.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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BSF, BGB Discuss Measures to Curb Trans-Border Crime Including Unwanted Loss of Life, Smuggling of Cattle

The aim of this conference was to improve mutual co-operation and understanding between both the border guarding forces of India

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BSF, BGB, Border
The BSF delegation was led by Yogesh Bahadur Khurania, Inspector General, South Bengal Frontier, while Md Jalal Ghani Khan, Additional Director General, Region Commander, South West Region, Jashore, was the head of the Bangladesh team. Pixabay

Measures to curb trans-border crime including unwanted loss of life, smuggling of cattle, drugs and narcotics were among major issues discussed at a four-day meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that ended here on Sunday.

Smuggling of arms and ammunition and gold were also deliberated upon during the Border Co-ordination Conference between Inspectors’ General of BSF and Region Commanders’ of the BGB, officials told the media.

The BSF delegation was led by Yogesh Bahadur Khurania, Inspector General, South Bengal Frontier, while Md Jalal Ghani Khan, Additional Director General, Region Commander, South West Region, Jashore, was the head of the Bangladesh team.

“The aim of this conference was to improve mutual co-operation and understanding between both the border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh for better border management and to resolve various issues related to border in the mutual interests of both the countries,” said Khurania.

BSF, BGB, Border
Smuggling of arms and ammunition and gold were also deliberated upon during the Border Co-ordination Conference between Inspectors’ General of BSF and Region Commanders’ of the BGB, officials told the media. Pixabay

“During the conference, various issues for effective border management were discussed which included measures to curb trans-border crime including unwanted loss of life, smuggling of cattle, drugs and narcotics, contraband items,” he added.

The delegations also discussed about effective measures to check illegal movement across the International Boundary, smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN), breach of fence and safety and security of border population of both the countries.

During the meeting, various pending issues related to infrastructure and developmental works in border areas were also discussed, with both sides appreciating various activities being conducted under the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP).

The CBMPt includes Simultaneous Coordinated Patrols (SCP), sharing of intelligence, identification of vulnerable areas and increased frequency of meetings at all levels.

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Both sides appreciated that trans-border crime has declined following efforts made by the border guarding forces, and agreed to pursue the construction of developmental projects in the respective border areas. (IANS)