ISLAMABAD: Despite a recent setback to normalisation efforts between Pakistan and India, senior military officials from the two hostile neighbours will meet in New Delhi next month to discuss issues of border management and tensions.
The announcement for the meeting between the director general (DG) of Pakistan Rangers and inspector general (IG) of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) came barely a week after the last-minute cancellation of a scheduled meeting between the national security advisers of the two countries.
“As per border ground rules 1961, a routine, biannual meeting of IG Border Security Force and DG Pakistan Rangers is scheduled in New Delhi from September 9 to 13,” a senior official of the Pakistan Rangers said on Wednesday.
“To coordinate modalities of the meeting, a prior meeting was held between representatives of Rangers and the BSF at Wagha border on Tuesday,” the official said without giving details.
However, a defence source clarified that the forthcoming meeting between the DG Rangers and BSF’s IG was not part of the understanding reached between Premier Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in the Russian city of Ufa. “This is pre-scheduled and a routine meeting,” the source added.
Asked about the agenda, the source said the meeting would primarily focus on issues related to border management and security along the working boundary and international border between the two countries. This means hostilities along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir will not come under discussion in the meeting.
There have been at least 180 ceasefire violations reported by both the countries since the two prime ministers met in Ufa last month. Both sides accused each other for escalating hostilities.
DG ANF’s visit to India canceled
Pakistan decided on Wednesday against sending director general of the Anti-Narcotics Force to attend a meeting on illegal narcotics trade to be held in New Delhi next month, The Economic Times reported.
The meeting of South Asian counties on illegal narcotics trade is to be held in September under the Colombo Plan. “Pakistan has sent a terse note, simply expressing regret over not being able to make it for the meeting on September 9-11,”an Indian official is quoted as saying.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2015.
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