Jairam Ramesh did not cross border unchecked: Pak Rangers

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Lahore, Jan 22 : The Pakistan Rangers (Punjab chapter) has denied media reports that Indian Minister of State for Commerce, Jairam Ramesh, had strolled into Pakistan unchecked last week.

Accompanied by the Border Security Force (BSF) and customs officials, Ramesh was at the Joint Check Post at Wagah on Friday, the Rangers said in a statement, adding that he had taken three or four steps inside Pakistan's territory, but was immediately warned by the officers on duty to back off.

On the Rangers' notification, the minister had immediately stepped back and apologised for overstepping the Zero Line, the Daily Times quoted the release.

The Rangers had also advised the BSF to tell Indian dignitaries to observe the border limits at the Zero Line.

Earlier, the Pakistan Government had sought a report from officials on how Ramesh "strolled" into Pakistani territory at the Wagah border, violating rules and regulations.

Accompanied by some Indian officials, including Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, K S Pannu and some BSF personnel, Ramesh was reported to have gone up to the conference hall of Pakistan Rangers, about 40 yards inside Pakistan.

When asked how could he cross the international border without any legal papers, Ramesh had told reporters that he did not cross into Pakistan illegally.

Pannu had said the minister's visit was aimed at examining the border area, which is likely to be modernised for improving trade links with Pakistan.


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