Pak, India border forces agree to enhance contact to resolve issues

LAHORE - Border forces of Pakistan and India have reached a consensus to seek solution to irksome issues through enhanced contact and communication at all levels.

It was decided in a Bi-annual three-day meeting held between Pakistan Rangers and India’s Border Security Force (BSF) that concluded yesterday at Punjab Rangers headquarters in Lahore.

Representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Pakistan Rangers (Sindh), Anti-Narcotics Force and Survey of Pakistan also attended.

Spokesman for Rangers said that the talks are regular feature and held alternately in Pakistan and India. The dialogue process provides an opportunity not only to discuss and resolve border management issues at bilateral level but also strengthen the mutual confidence between the two border guarding forces.

The dialogues were held in congenial and accommodating atmosphere. In order to continue the endeavours revived in Bi-annual meeting 2015, both sides agreed to encourage local commanders to resolve the minor issues related to border management by frequent flag meetings.

The forum also dilated upon the issue of expediting repatriation of inadvertent border crossers and mutually agreed to ensure their safe return.

Forum acknowledged the concerted efforts put in by both the forces to check cross border smuggling of narcotics and contrabands.

Both sides showed further resolve to continue sharing information on this very important aspect and take all appropriate measures to end this illegal activity, plaguing the people of two countries.

While capitalising on already decreasing trend of ceasefire violations along working boundary, both sides showed willingness to enhance contact at all levels to minimise the chances of misunderstanding.

Issues of defence construction close to Working Boundary and International Border have also been deliberated upon to find out amicable solution and address mutual concerns.

Both sides pledged to continue endeavours to reduce the friction and create environment for betterment and prosperity of their respective populace.

The next meeting is decided to be held in 1st quarter of 2017 in India, spokesman concluded.

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