Border troops exchange sweets instead of fire

In a display of border bonhomie, officials from India’s Border Security Force (BSF) exchanged sweets with Pakistan Rangers to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali. The gesture was made at the RS Pura post of Kashmir.

Indian Border Security Force officials greet DG Pakistan Rangers Maj Gen Mohammad Yaqub Khan by offering him sweets at Wagah border.

Continuing the yearly tradition, BSF officials presented sweets, wishes and gifts to the Pakistan Rangers to celebrate the ‘Festival of Lights’.

BSF Commander Vinit Kumar presented the gifts while Pakistan’s Wing Commander Zulfikar Ali returned the gesture. The officials hoped peace and love would prevail between the two countries.

The troops exchange sweets on several festivals and the Independence Days of both the nations. On August 15, BSF guards offered sweets to their Pakistan counterparts at the Wagah border check post on the occasion of India’s 64th Independence Day celebration.

The Hindu community will celebrate Diwali on November 5 across Pakistan.

The ministry of minorities has announced it will celebrate this festival officially to bring the minorities into the national mainstream. It is part of an effort to promote tolerance, dialogue and remove misunderstandings among different faiths.

The ministry will hold some programmes, but the events will be simple in view of the devastation caused by recent floods.

Last week, on the request of the BSF, Punjab Rangers decided to discontinue the aggressive marching approach during the flag march ceremony at the Wagah border.

During a strategic meeting between top officials of the border forces of the two countries, discussions were also held on cross-border firing incidents.

Tension between border security forces of both countries remains high, as both India and Pakistan have on many occasions accused each other violating the LoC.

Last week the Indian military accused Islamabad of “major ceasefire violation”, alleging that Pakistani troops opened fire across the de facto border dividing Kashmir, killing one Indian soldier.


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