Lahore: Ahead of home minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Pakistan for Saarc interior ministers and home ministers conference, the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pak Rangers met in Lahore for three days, from July 25 to July 28, to discuss several issues related to ceasefire violations, infiltration and drugs smuggling.
The BSF delegation was led by director general K K Sharma and the Pakistan delegation was led by director general, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. A BSF statement said that “the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and with a spirit of cooperation. It was agreed that since the last such meeting in Delhi in September 2015, there has been a greater adherence to ceasefire along the International Border.”
The BSF chief highlighted the importance of vigilance against cross-border infiltration to prevent terrorist activities and check smuggling in narcotics. Both sides discussed ways to strengthen measures to coordinate border patrolling on their respective sides of the border and address each other’s concerns in a time-bound manner. The joint record of discussion charting a future route map of cooperation between the two border guarding forces was also signed on Thursday.
BSF has invited DG Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) to visit India for the next round of bi-annual talks. “The talks ended on an optimistic note with both sides agreeing on constant endeavor to maintain peaceful and tranquil along borders,” said a BSF statement.
Officials say the International Border has been “relatively less volatile” in last several months since the last meeting between the two forces compared to the frequent ceasefire violations in J&K in the early 2015. But infiltration and drugs smuggling remain a matter of concern.