Pakistan, India agree to tone down flag march

Published: October 31, 2010

An Indian and a Pakistani border guard face off during the ceremony. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

On the request of the Indian Border Security Force, Punjab Rangers have decided to discontinue the aggressive marching approach during the flag march ceremony at the Wagah Border. This was announced at the Rangers headquarters on Saturday.

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

Director-General of Punjab Rangers Major-General Muhammad Yaqoob Ali Khan and Director-General of India’s BSF Raman Shrivastav also decided to take steps to free prisoners. They agreed to urge their respective governments to release fishermen held by both sides after minimum detention and paperwork.

BSF director-general Shrivastava, heading a 19-member delegation, was in Lahore for the strategic meeting.

“We will also share lists of foreign prisoners in Indian and Pakistani jails to provide relief to them through respective foreign ministries,” he said.

“We have proposed that firing could only be opened by security forces on either side inside their own territory, instead of attacking the border posts or villagers across the border,” he was quoted as saying by IANS news agency.

Shrivastava said that fishermen found to be violating the maritime borders were taken into custody. “Once they are arrested, the process of law has to take its course,” he said, adding, “Usually they don’t have proper documentation.”

Referring to cross-border smuggling, he said: “Fake Indian currency and narcotics were being smuggled from Pakistan. We have brought this to the notice of the Pakistani authorities. He said that smugglers had contacts on both sides and security agencies are trying to devise a joint mechanism to eliminate illegal trade. Indian liquor is being smuggled into Pakistan in huge quantities unchecked.”

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM ONLINE)

Published in The Express Tribune October 31st, 2010.

Reader Comments (11)

  • faraz
    Oct 30, 2010 - 5:44PM

    Thats good. I once attended a flag ceremony, these guards really act like jokers. Rather than invoking patriotism, it was more of a comic relief.Recommend

  • M. Salim
    Oct 30, 2010 - 6:42PM

    At last!! a smart move. Also, hope that both parties stop blaring full blast on the microphones. Need friendly overtures and welcoming messages. Teaming millions from both sides would welcome this change positively. Recommend

  • UmEr
    Oct 30, 2010 - 6:48PM

    It’s okay guys, we know Endians can’t take on our aggression, even in the show off sense ;)Recommend

  • R. Khan
    Oct 30, 2010 - 6:50PM

    Very True! They used to look retarded. Thank God this stupid act is finished. Let’s hope the sanity would previal & now we will have friendship with India. Till such time we are not at Peace with India there cannot be any meaning full economic progress in Pakistan. Unofficial trade between two countries is over $ 2 billion, just imagine how much revenues government is losing every year to smuglers.Recommend

  • parvez
    Oct 30, 2010 - 10:26PM

    The whole ceremony had deteriorated into a loud cheap show with no grace or dignity.
    Lets hope they can restore the proper military pomp and decorum needed at such events. Recommend

  • Oct 31, 2010 - 1:36AM

    A wel come end to the “Heroic stupidity”. Well done.Recommend

  • tryst
    Oct 31, 2010 - 7:53AM

    when I first witnessed it, I was upset. not only at the stupidity of the act but at the wild cheering of the crowds that accompanied it. I thought about how easy it was to control people and work them into a frenzy, into a hate-filled mob. The Wagah border flag lowering ceremony ritual has ended not a day too soon! congratulations to the BSF for bringing the offer to the table. One can only hope that in time, India and Pakistan will take other steps to reduce hate and misunderstanding which fills the mental landscape in both countries – and even if the States’ don’t, people themselves should. Recommend

  • rao junaid iqbal
    Oct 31, 2010 - 8:03AM

    AT last agressive actions ended at wagah border after the approval of Pakistan rangers on request of india security force,the great dicesion by ranger.The fact behind this was that durinfg march at wagah soldiers have to hit ground very hard to beat his opponent in prade some cases of spinal cord pain appeared in indian soldiers and also in pakistanis’.after that both realised the outcomes and than everything ended.I think this is first issue on which both forces has shown that they have spirit to admit which is good and in countries interest. This decison has everlasting effects.now both forces have to take some steps to reduce cross border firing and other such incidents which are causing disturbance among the two security forces Recommend

  • Sheraz
    Oct 31, 2010 - 4:57PM

    Bacharay indian….. They cant take our aggression they face difficulty from there own public Recommend

  • Nov 3, 2010 - 9:06PM

    The “near future” and not the “distant future” of our region is that of peace and not war. If navel gazing continues, the Chinese are known for their cunning abilities to pre-emptively strike diplomatically with a stranglehold of a tight noose around goose necks of regions of interest. Let’s not be sitting ducks.Recommend

  • Salman Saif
    Nov 4, 2010 - 10:02PM

    Good initiative…. rather than promoting patriotism it was provoking a feeling of enmity between the two nations. we should stop showing our patriotism at border and cricket match and should apply our energies of patriotism in true sense for our country.Recommend

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