BSF, Pakistan Rangers agree to step up border domination to check smuggling
The Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers have decided to prevent cross-border firing and step up border domination to prevent smuggling, said a joint statement issued on Thursday after the conclusion of five-day Director General-level talks between the two forces.
“Efforts will be made to ensure that no such instance of firing along the border takes place…and if at all a ceasefire violation happens, such an instance will be nipped in the bud so that it does not aggravate,” BSF Director General U.K. Bansal said at a joint press conference with Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) Director General Rizwan Akhtar.
So far there have been two incidents of ceasefire violation from the Pakistan side in the Jammu sector this year where the BSF lost its two men. Both sides agreed upon ceasefire in November 2003.
Mr. Akhtar said, “We had a detailed discussion on cross-border firing ... both border guarding forces felt such things should not happen. We will better our mechanisms and ensure that the parameters, which we discussed here, will be told to every trooper on the border. I am sure we will get better results. We will work to ensure that such ceasefire violations do not take place at all.”
During the talks, which were for the first time organised in Delhi, India also raised issues of drug trafficking and smuggling of arms and fake Indian currency and asked Pakistan to act strictly against such activities.
Asked about the increase in smuggling of fake Indian currency from Pakistan, Mr. Akhtar said: “It is not correct to say that fake currency is being pumped across the border. Fake currency can be made anywhere in the world. It can be manufactured in India too.”
Referring to inadvertent crossing of international borders by nationals from either side, Mr. Bansal said: “The problem is that border population often does not realise that they have crossed the international border. In such cases we are trying to treat it as a humanitarian matter and we have decided to take every possible measure to quickly verify the intention, precedence, identity of the individual.”
During the meeting, the two sides also agreed to pursue the issue of early release and repatriation of fishermen apprehended on both sides for crossing international borders, besides enhancing mutual confidence and understanding and building synergy between both the border guarding forces.