Pakistan sends Diwali sweets to President, PM

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New Delhi, Oct 24: Despite the bitterness in Indo-Pak ties, Pakistan has sent 'Diwali sweets' to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The sweets, by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit and his wife, were also sent to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

According to sources, Basit sent the boxes to the Prime Minister's Office for Modi apart from the President and the External Affairs Minister and seemed an "initiative" taken totally at the High Commission level. Significantly, Indian forces have not offered sweets to their Pakistani counterparts on Diwali in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the border.

The Border Security Force (BSF) in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir did not exchange sweets and greetings, a goodwill gesture carried out during major occasions, especially festivals like Diwali and Eid.

"In the light of present scenario with Pakistan, this time India has decided not to offer sweets to Pakistan on Diwali," Jalandhar-based BSF IG, Punjab Frontier, Ashok Kumar told PTI over phone. There were repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along LoC as well as International Border in Jammu and Kashmir recently, he said, adding, therefore, offering of sweets to Pakistani counterparts was "totally out of question".

"This Diwali we did not exchange sweets with the Pakistani side following the heightened tension along the International Border," a senior BSF officer said in Jammu. The Army also did not hold any function along the Line of Control and no sweets were exchanged with the Pakistani troops.

PTI

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