DG-level talks between BSF, Pakistan Rangers from September 9 to 13
Despite the NSA-level talks hitting a roadblock, New Delhi and Islamabad have decided to go ahead with the Directors-General level talks for the forces managing their respective borders. Ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks, infiltration, intrusion in Rann of Kutch and smuggling are among the key issues India is expected to raise with Pakistan during the five-day DG level talks between Border Security
Force and Pakistan Rangers from September 9.
A 16-member delegation headed by Pakistan Rangers Director-General (Punjab) Major General Umar Farooq Burki is expected to travel to Attari-Wagah border crossing in Punjab on September 8 and later fly down from Amritsar to participate in the talks in New Delhi with the Border Security Force from September 9 to 13, officials said.
A Pakistani Ranger and an Indian Border Security Force officer shake hands during the daily parade at the Pakistan-India joint check post at Wagah border. The Indian delegation with as many members will be led by BSF chief Devendra Kumar Pathak.
The Indian agenda for the talks has put extra stress on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB, they said.
The Indian side will also take up the issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides.
The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities. Issues of infiltration from across the
border and use of sniper weapons to target troops manning border posts will also be raised.
Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level talks despite it calling <g data-gr-id="21">off </g>the meeting of the NSAs of the two countries a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit to New Delhi.
The Rangers in their agenda have included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
They have also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians.