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India, Pakistan agree on peaceful borders, more border guard meets

Director General-level talks between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers at BSF headquarter, in New Delhi

New Delhi, Nov 11 (UITV/IANS) -  India and Pakistan on Friday agreed on "constant endeavour" to maintain peace on borders, "utmost caution and care" in dealing with civilians as well as resuming commandant-level talks to resolve local issues during the bi-annual talks between chiefs of their border guarding forces.

The three-day 44th Director General-level meeting of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers, which began on November 8 and ended on Friday, also saw both sides agreeing on more frequent meeting between field commanders.

The border guarding forces have decided to initiate dialogue at the local level, a practice suspended one and a half years ago. Both the forces have agreed to the proposal and the meetings would be held at regular intervals.

It was also decided that the next round of talks will be held in Pakistan.

"The talks were held in a constructive atmosphere. The need for cooperation to maintain the sanctity of the borders was stressed upon. The talks ended with both sides agreeing on constant endeavour to maintain peaceful and tranquil borders," a BSF official told IANS.

"It was agreed upon in deliberations that utmost caution and care should be exercised in dealing with the civilians. The need for timely exchange of information at the field level with increased frequency of field commanders-level meetings and simultaneous coordinated patrolling were also discussed."

A BSF statement said that the Indian side firmly and strongly took up specific issues of concern including incidents of unprovoked cross-border firing, smuggling of narcotics, infiltration attempts, tunnelling and defence construction activities.

"The issue of inadvertent crossing over by the border population and ways to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed," it said.

The 23-member Indian delegation was headed by Director General Border Security Force K.K. Sharma, and the 19-member Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by its Director General, Sindh, Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed.

Both the delegations also had representatives from respective Home and Foreign Ministries along with officers from narcotics control and survey departments.

The DG-level talks process between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers, aimed at reviewing the implementation of the agreed norms of cooperation between the two border guarding forces, was started after a decision taken in a Home Secretary-level meeting in Islamabad in May 1989.