Pak forces refuse ‘festival sweet’ but Envoy hopes truce

RSTV Bureau
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Jammu: Local of villages near International Border in Jammu sector showing the remnants of shells fired by Pakistan Rangers in the violation of ceasefire. Photo – PTI

The relations between India and Pakistan froze further with Pakistan side dishonouring the long-prevailing tradition of exchanging sweets on the occasion of festivals celebrated in the two countries. Pakistani Rangers on Saturday morning refused to accept the sweets offered by the Border Security Force (BSF) on the occasion of Eid.

The two border guarding forces have been following a tradition of exchanging sweets on festivals at the International Border in Jammu and along the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab.

Confirming that the gesture of gifting sweets was not reciprocated from the Pakistan side along the Attari-Wagah border, Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General in Amritsar, M F Farooqui said, “We give sweets on Eid every time. The Rangers have not accepted it today. We always want to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border”.

And as per the latest reports, Pakistan forces have once again violated the ceasefire understanding in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir. However, no injuries have been reported thus far.

For the last few days, the border along Jammu region has witnessed considerable tension, which began with the ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Rangers. The BSF too retaliated strongly to the shelling and heavy firing that left a woman killed and more than 10 persons injured on the Indian side.

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Prime Minister Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif at Ufa, Russia earlier this month where the two leaders held bilateral talks on the sidelines of SCO summit. Photo – PTI

And due to the simmering tension, the BSF did not offer any sweets to their counterparts along the Line of Control (LoC). A senior BSF commander at its headquarters in Delhi told the press that the force did not “offer” Eid sweets along the LoC to the Rangers as a mark of protest against the ongoing spate of ceasefire violations along this frontier.

However, amid the ongoing tension over ceasefire violations, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit Saturday said the issues between both the countries could be resolved if both have the “will”.

“We hope relations between the two countries will improve and if both sides have the will, then there is no reason our issues such as poverty, illiteracy and disease cannot be resolved,” High Commissioner Basit said.

The envoy paid a visit to historic Fatehpuri Masjid in Old Delhi on the occasion of Eid.

(With inputs from PTI)