India calls for checking infiltration in J&K

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Wagah, Sep 11 (UNI) India has called upon Pakistan to take effective steps to check infiltration from across the border into Jammu and Kashmir.

''We conveyed our concerns to Pakistan border officials and they have assured us that they would do the needful,'' Border Security Force (BSF) ADG (North West) G S Gill told mediapersons here after returning from Pakistan, after attending the four-day biannual meeting with the Pakistan Rangers that concluded at Lahore this morning.

In a related development, the BSF and the Rangers have decided to take effective steps to maintain peace and tranquility along the Indo-Pak border. ''The sanctity of the border along Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat has to be maintained and we have decided to cooperate with each other on this issue,'' the ADG said.

The two border guards also decided to take steps to check cross border crime including smuggling of heroin, which was flowing into India from across the border. The Rangers assured all cooperation and the two sides would periodically exchange lists of transborder smugglers, he said.

The BSF and Rangers both decided to ensure timely cutting of the 'sarkanda' (elephantine grass) and other high vegetative growth along the international border, particularly in the riverine belts of Punjab as this provides a natural cover to smugglers and trans border criminals.

Regarding other decisions taken at the Lahore meeting, Mr Gill said that it was decided that the problem of those who inadvertently cross over into each others territory should be solved at the Border Outpost (BOP) level by the field commanders of the BSF and Rangers.

This would involve calling immediate flag meetings by the field commanders, he said while pointing out this decision was taken as the procedure of repatriation existing between the two countries was lengthy and cumbersome, which keeps 'innocent' persons of both countries behind bars for a lengthy period.

The BSF and the Rangers also exchanged a list of fishermen detained on either side by the two countries for straying into each others territorial waters while fishing in the Arabian Sea.

The two countries also held detailed discussions on the physical condition of border pillars along the border and decided that whereever repairs are necessary, these should be carried out. All even numbered pillars along the border are maintained by India, while the odd numbered ones are maintained by Pakistan.

Besides Mr Gill, the Indian delegation comprised of senior BSF officials of the Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu frontiers and from the headquarters at New Delhi. Officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau and the CPWD were also part of the delegation.


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