LAHORE – Pakistan and India have reiterated their commitment to continue efforts for ensuring peace and tranquility on the Working Boundary and International Border. Indo-Pak security officials agreed on zero tolerance for smuggling.
This was stated in a joint statement issued after a five-day bi-annual meeting between senior officials of Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force at the Headquarters Punjab Rangers in Lahore on Saturday.
The two sides also reached consensus to make available communication channels more effectively to control violation at the zero level.
They agreed that inadvertent crossers would be returned immediately to their respective countries. Consensus was developed on matters like stoppage of illegal construction‚ removal of wild growth and maintenance of boundary pillars.
During the meetings, the officials discussed unprovoked firing incidents at the Line of Control (LoC). They agreed in principle on the return of the prisoners who have completed their sentence in both the countries.
They also agreed on joint patrolling to halt smuggling and illegal movement at the border. The meeting was held a day after Director General Military Operations of India and Pakistan held face-to face talks for the first time after 14 years.
Earlier on Tuesday, Director General Military Operations of Pakistan and India held a meeting at Wagah border on Tuesday.The Pakistan delegation was headed by Major General Aamer Riaz, Director General Military Operations, Pakistan Army. The Indian delegation was headed by Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, Director General Military Operations, Indian Army.A joint statement was issued after the meeting.
According to Inter-Services of Public Relations (ISPR), the meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere.
Both DGMOs showed their commitment to maintain the sanctity and ceasefire on the Line of Control and agreed to re-energize the existing mechanisms.
The statement said that consensus was developed to make Hotline Contact between the two DGMOs more effective and result oriented.
It was also decided to inform each other if any innocent civilian inadvertently crosses Line of Control, in order to ensure his / her early return.
To carry forward the positive spirit of DGMOs meeting, two flag meetings between Brigade Commanders will be held on the Line of Control in the near future, to ensure maintenance of peace and tranquility along the Line of Control, ISPR stated.
The statement added that both sides reiterated resolve and commitment to continue efforts for ensuring ceasefire, peace and tranquility on the Line of Control. It is worth mentioning here that DGMOs of the two countries met for the first time in 14 years.
On December 17, Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of Pakistan had invited his Indian counterpart for a meeting on December 24 to discuss increased incidents of Line of Control (LoC) violations.
ISRR had stated that the decision has been made to discuss the growing tension on Line of Control besides violation of the line from Indian troops.
Many civilians were injured in the unprovoked firing of Indian troops on the border villages of Pakistan.
The move came after both the countries had agreed to arrange a meeting of their DGMOs after talks between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September.
Meanwhile, cabinet’s committee on national security had also decided to deescalate tension on eastern border with India and on LoC.