Days after non-NSA talks, India, Pakistan Border chiefs to meet in Sept.


A few days after the cancellation of talks between the National Security Advisors (NSA) of India and Pakistan amid a full-throated slanging match, the chiefs of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers are set to meet in New Delhi from September 9 to 13. India is yet to confirm the meeting. “Representatives from the two paramilitary border forces held a meeting on August 25 at the Wagah-Attari border “to coordinate modalities of the September meeting,” said a statement from Pakistan Rangers.

The areas of focus during the discussions would include the firings across the Line of Control (LoC), cross border smuggling, de facto frontier in the disputed region of Kashmir, according to Pakistan Rangers spokesman Waheed Bukhari. The NSA- level talks between India and Pakistan that was scheduled to be held on August 23 and 24 was cancelled at the last moment due to mutual recriminations over the scope of talks and the invitation by Pakistan to Hurriyat leaders to meet NSA Sartaz Aziz in New Delhi. The invitation was seen by New Delhi as a deliberate provocation as India has cancelled the foreign secretary-level talks in August last year on a similar pretext of the Pakistani envoy inviting Kashmiri separatist leaders for a meeting.   

The talks between border chiefs have acquired an added urgency due to escalating cross-border firing, which has killed several civilians. India has in recent months accused Pakistan of violating ceasefire along the LoC, which has been denied by Pakistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, has accused India of violating ceasefire along the LoC and fuelling insurgency on the Pakistan soil especially in Balochistan. The intensifying cross-LoC violence has vitiated atmosphere between the two countries, leading to much bitterness that forms the larger backdrop to the cancellation of the NSA-level talks.

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