Diplomatic Correspondent

Issue taken up via diplomatic channels

  • India hopeful of flag meeting between BSF and Pakistan Rangers
  • Putin to be chief guest for January 26 celebrations

    NEW DELHI: India has taken up with Pakistan the alleged firing incident across the border in the Akhnoor sector and expressed its concern to Islamabad, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here on Thursday evening.

    According to the spokesman, the "firing incident" was taken up both in New Delhi and in Islamabad through diplomatic channels.

    India was hopeful that an early flag meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers could take place to sort out the issue.

    (India and Pakistan have been maintaining a comprehensive ceasefire since November 2003 along the international border, the Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line. The two countries, by and large, have scrupulously adhered to the ceasefire agreement).

    Putin's visit

    The spokesman said Russian President Vladimir Putin would be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. Mr. Putin, who arrives on a two-day official visit on January 25, would review the entire gamut of bilateral relations between India and Russia with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    He said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would pay a three-day visit to Myanmar from Friday. After returning from Myanmar, Mr. Mukherjee would be travelling to Kabul on January 23 and 24.

    Nehru prize

    The spokesman said the Jawaharlal Nehru prize for international understanding for 2004 has been awarded to Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman. The prize carries a cash prize of Rs. 25 lakh and a citation.