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National
Indo-Pak DG-level talks focus on bringing peace at border
10-09-2015

New Delhi: India and Pakistan on Thursday decided to devise new strategies along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to incidents of ceasefire violations as they began their three-day DG-level border dialogue here.

In what can be seen as an encouraging development in bilateral talks between the two neighbours, the BSF-Pakistan Rangers meeting has been extended for a day to “discuss and finalise” these new protocols and strategies.

“The most significant takeaway of the talks has been that the two sides agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility on this border is the most important issue and this needs to be implemented on the ground,” a top government source said.

According to the set agenda, the talks were to be wrapped up today as tomorrow the Rangers are scheduled to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his South Block office and later meet staff and officials in the Pakistan High Commission.

On their last day in Delhi on September 12, a joint record of discussions was to be signed between the two sides after which the visitors were to leave for Islamabad.

“Yes, the talks have been extended for a day and a special session will be held tomorrow to decide on protocols that will be put in place to put an end to ceasefire violations and make the Indo-Pak border tranquil,” the source said.

Border Security Force (BSF) chief D K Pathak, during a public function of central investigative agency NIA in the evening here, told PTI that the Indian side was “happy” after the deliberations on the first day.

“I wouldn’t say anything beyond that. The talks went on in a very cordial manner and we are happy about it,” Pathak said.

Sources said the Indian side suggested that rather than debating and contesting about the past incidents, the two sides should work on a “future” strategy to make this border peaceful and safe for the troops and civilians alike.

Pakistan agreed to this point and after some more positive talks it was mutually decided that the session should be extended by a day, they said.

The Rangers, led by their DG (Punjab) Umar Farooq Burki, asked BSF to initiate the joint patrolling along some mutually identified areas on this border which was agreed by India, they said.

The sources further said the Rangers “did not bring on table” the issue of activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan).

These much-awaited talks are happening amid escalating tensions and continuing cases of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and after over 1.5 years.