A fragile peace has returned to the International Border (IB) in Jammu division after Indian and Pakistani security forces agreed to defuse tension and respect the ceasefire in an attempt to allow farmers to harvest their crops near the volatile border.
The agreement was reached at a three hour-long flag meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers in the Suchetgarh area of the RS Pora sector on Tuesday.
The meeting was held four days after the guns fell silent on the IB bringing much-needed relief to the people living near the border. The BSF team was led by deputy inspector general and sector commander JC Singla while Pakistani Rangers were led by their sector commander from Sialkote Brigadier Mateen.
The Indian delegation raised three specific issues with Pakistan Rangers which included the unprovoked firing and shelling, targeting of the villages and sniping soldiers. The delegation also lodged strong protest and demanded an end to these provocations, sources said.
“Both sides have decided to maintain peace and respect the ceasefire. Farmers can now go to their fields (up to the zero line on the border) and harvest their crops,” DIG JC Singla said.
Two troopers including, an army soldier and BSF head constable, have been killed while 18 civilians and more than eight BSF men have been injured in Pakistani shelling on IB and LoC in Jammu division since the latest provocation started on October 15.
Even as the BSF and Pakistan Rangers agreed to defuse tensions, the Pakistan army violated ceasefire on the Line of Control in Bhimber Gali sector on the early hours of Tuesday. “Pakistani army violated cease fire in Gambhir battalion area of BG sector from 5.10 am to 7 am,” said Colonel RK Palta, defence spokesman at Jammu.