The intensity of firing across the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan has increased alarmingly in recent months. According to the Border Security Force (BSF), the level of firing is the highest since the 1971 war. To diffuse the situation, both sides had a flag meeting on Wednesday, but nothing conclusive came out of it. Both countries have again decided to hold a flag meeting on Friday. Let us take a look at different facets of a flag meet and how it is different from other meetings.
What is a flag meeting?
A flag meeting is a meeting held at the border or on the Line of Control by commanders of both sides. On Friday, sector level commanders of the Pakistan Rangers and the BSF will hold talks on the Octroi Post in the Suchergarh area.
What is the agenda of the meeting?
The agenda of the meeting is to diffuse the impending tension between the two countries. It's a low level talk where no big ticket issue will be harped about. Issues like Siachen and Kashmir etc will not be under discussion unlike in the case of foreign secretary level meetings or summit level meetings. The meeting will try to sort out a mechanism to deescalate tension on the border.
Is an actual flag present in the 'flag meeting'?
Yes, an actual flag is present when commanders from both the countries come for talks. The flag is to symbolise peace. Both of them are accompanied by their escorts. A chair is laid out and talks begin to sort out the impending issue.
Where is the meeting held?
The exact location of the meeting is subject to different considerations. Sometimes it takes place on 'no mans land'. Friday's meeting will take place at the Octroi Post in India.
What is the follow-up from this meeting?
It is basically a confidence building meeting. After the meeting, both sides go back to their headquarters and the next line of action is determined based on the outcome of the meeting.