India, Pakistan forces’ talks end on ‘optimistic’ note

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) The four-day talks between India’s BSF and its Pakistani counterpart Pakistan Rangers ended on Saturday on an “optimistic note” with both sides agreeing to take steps to maintain peaceful and tranquil borders.

The talks between the director generals of the two border forces were held in a cordial and congenial atmosphere and the deliberations ended by signing an accord.

A consensus was reached on various issues, including no firing along the border to protect the lives of innocent civilians.

“The talks ended on an optimistic note with both sides agreeing on constant endeavour to maintain peaceful and tranquil borders,” Border Security Force (BSF) chief D. K. Pathak said.

Sources said that Pathak and the delegation led by Pakistan Rangers chief Maj. Gen. Umar Farooq Burki have agreed to remain in touch over mobile phone, e-mail and fax in order to avoid ceasefire violations and escalation of tension on the border.

Sources said that the need for cooperation to maintain the sanctity of the borders was stressed upon.

The issue of inadvertent crossing over by the border population and how to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed. Both sides felt caution and care should be taken to deal with the civilians.

The need for confidence building measures including timely exchange of information at the field level and mobile communication, simultaneous coordinated patrolling, and sporting events were also discussed.

A Joint Record of Discussion (JRD) charting a future route map of cooperation between the two border forces was signed.

It was mutually agreed to hold the next talks in the first half of 2016 in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Rangers chief led a 16-member delegation to India while the BSF fielded a 23-member delegation.

Both the delegations also had representatives from their home and foreign ministries along with officers from narcotics control and survey department.

Officials said the delegation of Pakistan Rangers has left India after the talks.

The talks began on September 10 at BSF headquarters in New Delhi.

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