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Indian delegation leaves for bi-annual meeting with Pak

Written by: Staff
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Amritsar, Apr 11: An 18-member Indian delegation headed by Border security Force (BSF) Additional Director General (ADG) N P S Aulakh today left for Pakistan for the three-day bi-annual meeting with the authorities there including the Pakistan Rangers.

The meeting will commence at Lahore tomorrow and will discuss contentious border issues including cross border crime with the intention to further promote peace and tranquility along the Indo-Pakistan border from the Rann of Kutch to the Jammu border.

The delegation comprising the Inspector Generals (IGs) of the Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and the sensitive Jammu sectors besides DIG level officers from these sectors and one from the BSF headquarters at New Delhi crossed into Pakistan through the Wagah check post. The delegation also includes senior officals of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Central Public Works Department (CPWD) and the Survey of India.

BSF sources said here today that the Indian delegation will discuss the unprovoked firing restored to by the Rangers in the R S Pura area of the Jammu sector last month which was a clear violation of the ceaserfire announced by India and Pakistan.

The two sides would also focus on illegal cross border activities including smuggling of narcotics (heroin) from Pakistan. In the last six months there have been about half a dozen cases of heroin seizure in Punjab by the Indian security agencies including one in Ferozpur in which 23 kgs was seized and two last month in which 28 kgs were seized. In all the cases the heroin had been smuggled from across the border.

The BSF and Rangers will also discuss way and means of further improving the peace and tranquility along the border which they had agreed upon in the last biannual meeting held at Chandigarh in Novermber. BSF sources said that both sides feel that peace along the border was of paramount importance in view of the improving relations between the two countries and for the benefit of the population residing on either side of the border.

Prompt response to flag meetings at the area commanders levels will also be an area of focus in the meeting. The BSF and Rangers will also elaborate on the issue of handling inadvertent border crossers at the field commanders level as in the last biannual meeting it had been agreed that such cases should be disposed off by field commanders on merit as the process of repatriation was lengthy and cumbersome.

CPWD and Survey of India officals will take up the issue of boundary demarcation with reference to border pillars which are missing or have been damaged since the last biannual meeting. The two delegations will also discuss the status of structures along the border on either side as in the last biannual meeting the Pakistan side had objected to construction of certain structures on the Indian side of the border.

UNI

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