Jammu, Oct 27 (IANS) Field commanders of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers on Tuesday agreed to respect the bilateral ceasefire and work together to bring down tension on the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
This was agreed at a flag meeting between BSF’s Deputy Inspector General (DIG) B.S. Kasana and Pakistan Rangers’ Brig. Waseem Jaffar Bhatti on the international border in Suchetgarh sector of Jammu district.
Briefing the media after the flag meeting, BSF’s Inspector General, Frontier, Jammu, Rakesh Sharma said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and the two sides have agreed to work together to uphold the ceasefire on the i nternational border.
“Pakistani Ranger field commanders have assured not to violate the ceasefire and we have told them there would be no unprovoked firing from our side,” he said.
Sources in the BSF said the Indian side blamed the Pakistan Rangers for targeting civilians, one of whom was killed last week in unprovoked firing in Mawa village of Samba district.
“Pakistan Rangers said the BSF had earlier fired at Pakistani farmers near the international border.
“Our field commanders clarified to them that BSF troopers had fired after noticing suspicious movements around 1 a.m. last week suspecting that militants could be attempting infiltration.
“They (Rangers) were told that no farmer would try to come closer to the border fencing at that hour of the night,” a source said.
The sources also said the two sides lodged complaints about loss of life and damage to civilian properties during recent cross-border shelling and firing.
While one civilian was killed and over a dozen others injured in Pakistan shelling on the international border last week on the Indian side, Pakistan has said five of its civilians were killed in cross border shelling and firing by the BSF.
More than 3000 residents of border villages in Samba district have abandoned their homes during the last seven days because of indiscriminate shelling by Pakistan Rangers.
The state government has set up 20 makeshift accommodations for these families in government buildings and religious places away from the international border.