New methods to resolve ceasefire violations

The Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers have decided to set up a new mechanism to hold dialogue for resolving issues related to ceasefire violations and firing along the Indo-Pak border.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the chiefs of both the forces in Pakistan last month. The 13-member delegation led by BSF Director-General Subhash Joshi had deliberations with the Rangers team led by Maj Gen Khan Tahir Javed Khan.

A senior official said it was decided at the meeting that local commanders of these forces on the ground should meet at regular intervals to thrash out issues rather than waiting for the higher-ups holding formal talks.

This would ensure that there is prompt opening of channel of communication once there is an irritant on the border, the official said. The commanders need not wait for formal approval. Specific cases would be dealt with according to old protocols.

All existing mechanisms of communication between the officials on the ground would be enhanced by activation of more channels of conversation in the light of any incident that calls for a meeting between the BSF and the Rangers.

Another decision taken by the two forces is quick repatriation of people who inadvertently cross the Indo-Pak border. Every year, there are around 60 incidents of local people crossing over the border. Both forces have agreed to send back local people as soon as possible.

The BSF believes that these measures would help increase the confidence and friendship between the two forces.

The official said the Pakistani side have agreed to investigate BSF’s contention that a few of its troops, on border duties, have been injured by firing from “sniper” or precision weapons which is against the rules of engagement during peacetime.

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