There is an age-old tradition of exchange of sweets along the International Border and Line of Control on national days like Republic Day and Independence Day, but not this year.
In a symbolic message to Pakistan in the wake of heightened tensions and increased exchange of fire along the International Border and Line of Control, south of Pir Panjal, the Border Security Force (BSF) has decided neither to send nor accept sweets from Pakistan Rangers this Independence Day.
“BSF has decided neither to accept nor give sweets to Pakistan Rangers on Independence Day,” said DK Pathak, Director General of the BSF.
“There is an age-old tradition of exchange of sweets on national days like Republic Day and Independence Day, and also on Diwali, Holi and Eid.
However, we want to make it very clear to Pakistan that they cannot send in terrorists, exchange mortar fire and then also exchange sweets,” top BSF sources told MAIL TODAY.
Traditionally sweets were exchanged at the Wagah-Attari border in Punjab which extended occasionally to the transit points in Jammu along the International Border and Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch along the Line of Control. This was seen as a confidence building measure and for officials to meet each other to keep tensions in check.
BSF and Pakistan Rangers have exchanged both small arms and mortar fire along the International Border in Jammu and Akhnoor belt.
According to the home ministry, there have been over 200 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2015 just along the International Border. Haribhai Chaudhary, MoS (Home) told Lok Sabha in a written reply that in 2014 Pakistan had violated the ceasefire 430 times, killing 12 civilians and two BSF jawans. In 2013 there were 148 violations reported as against 21 in 2012.
On Pakistan’s request India had accepted the Ramzan ceasefire in 2003 enabling its military leadership to concentrate on the ‘war on terror’ in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa areas in Pakistan’s north-west. However, Pakistan has once again started shelling along the LoC and IB to push in terrorists across the fence.