On Tuesday when BSF and Pak rangers ended their three hour long marathon meeting at the Octroi post in Suchetgarh area of RS Pura sector they claimed to have brokered a peace deal by agreeing to restore calm on the International border.
The meeting, as claimed by the BSF spokesman, was held in a cordial atmosphere where border guards of both the neighboring countries had also decided to allow farmers harvest their crop up to the zero line besides agreeing to more confidence building measures.
Shortly before the handshakes at the Octroi post the Pak army had once again trained its guns towards the Indian posts spread along the line of control in Bhimber Gali area of Poonch. The Pak army fired on the Indian posts for about two hours between 5.00 to 7.00 am and used automatic weapons and small arms to target the Indian posts.
Now the question arises if on one side Pak troops continue to violate ceasefire agreement along the LoC how long they can be trusted that there won’t be any ceasefire violation along the IB. Before taking the Pak rangers on face value the BSF should not allow farmers in large numbers to go near the zero line to work in their fields.
If BSF can provide cover to the farmers and stand guard during the peak hours of work the farmers can feel secure and in the absence of fool proof cover the Pak rangers can indulge in any mischief and target the vulnerable population.
During the meet the BSF officers have also claimed to have lodged strong protest against frequent incidents of ceasefire violations from across the border.
“We have lodged a protest with them (over ceasefire violations, shelling in civilian areas and snipping incidents)”, DIG (BSF) J C Singla, said after conclusion of the meeting at Octroi border outpost along IB in R S Pura.
“Now the farmers can harvest their paddy crops till the border line without any fear as it was decided to observe calm. The meeting passed in conducive atmosphere and there were some very good decisions taken in the meeting,” he said.
Both sides will keep monitoring along the international border and “we will ensure that peace prevails along the borderline,” Singla said.
The DIG-Brigadier level flag meeting began at 11.30 AM and continued for three-and-a-half hours, with Singla representing the BSF and Brigadier Mateen, sector commander of Chenab Rangers, representing the Pakistani side.
Since October 14, Pakistan Rangers shelled border villages and outposts with mortars bombs and rocket shells, besides heavy firing from LMGs and automatic weapons along the IB in Jammu frontier.
One jawan was killed in these incidents while 32 others, including 17 civilians, had suffered injuries.