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Pak Rangers refuse to accept sweets from BSF on Eid

Amritsar/Jammu: Amid the prevailing tension between India and Pakistan over ceasefire violations along their border, Pakistani Rangers today refused to accept the sweets offered by the BSF on the occasion of Eid.

Border guarding forces of the two countries have been following a tradition of exchanging sweets on festivals at the International Border in Jammu and along the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab.

Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General in Amritsar, M F Farooqui, told reporters that their gesture of giving sweets on the occasion of Eid was not reciprocated from the other side along the Attari-Wagah border.

“We give sweets on Eid every time. The Rangers have not accepted it today. We always want to maintain peace and tranquillity on the border,” he said.

However, the BSF did not offer any sweets to their counterparts along the IB. A senior BSF commander at its headquarters in Delhi told PTI that the force did not “offer” Eid sweets along the IB to Rangers as a mark of protest against the ongoing spate of ceasefire violations along this frontier and also the Line of Control (LoC) which have claimed few lives and injured many in the last few days.

In the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistani Rangers, India has warned Pakistan of “effective and forceful” response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism.

Officials said the exchange of sweets along the Indo-Pak border during big festivals on either side takes place at about 18-20 locations and at about 5-6 places the exchange did take place today.

“While along all the iconic and big meeting points along the border there was no exchange of sweets, at some small locations in places like Gurdaspur (Punjab), Rajasthan and Gujarat the exchange did happen,” officials said.

In Jammu, a senior BSF officer said that following heightened tension along the IB, the BSF decided against offering sweets to Pakistan Rangers.

“There was no exchange of sweets today on the occasion of Eid along IB in Jammu and Kashmir.They (Pak Rangers) have been targeting our border outposts and civilian areas without any provocation, how can you expect us to extend sweets to them,” he said.

The Army also did not exchange sweets with the Pakistan Army on the Line of Control.

“Earlier we used to offer sweets on the occasion of Eid through various points including Chakan da Bagh in Poonch, but due to the heightened tension this year, no sweets were exchanged,” an army officer said.

He said that in the past 12 hours, Pakistan Army has twice resorted to ceasefire violations along the LoC.

“Last night they (Pakistan Army) violated ceasefire in Naushera in Rajouri and on a day when the world is celebrating Eid, they targeted our positions in Poonch,” he said.

In Rajasthan, which also shares border with Pakistan, the BSF did not offered sweets to Pakistani Rangers along the international border.

DIG BSF Ravi Gandhi said that sweets have been exchanged in the past as a tradition but this time no such exchange took place.