Bullets are being exchanged across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, and sweets on the Attari border near Amritsar.
Hostilities apart, Pakistan Rangers on Thursday kept the annual tradition of being sweet for a day to their Border Security Force (BSF) adversaries on the anniversary of their freedom, a day before India celebrates own Independence Day.
It was all camaraderie in a brief ceremony on Thursday morning at the India-Pakistan Joint check Post on the zero line, as Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) director general Khan Tahir Javed Khan and colleagues greeted the BSF deputy inspector general MF Farooqui and the Indians jawans.
Confrontation anywhere has never affected the ritual.
Last year also, when five Indian soldiers were killed on the LoC, there were low-key sweet exchanges at Attari. On Thursday, before the sweets were passed to the BSF, schoolchildren and artistes were spotted dancing in celebration on the Pakistani side.
Congratulating Pakistan on its independence day, BSF DIG Farooqui said: “These gestures do help bring down the tension. We also exchange pleasantries with the Rangers on Eid and Diwali.” On Friday, when India celebrates its 68th Independence Day, the BSF will offer sweets to the Rangers.
END HOSTILITIES, SAY PEACENIKS
Ruing that the 2004 agreement for ceasefire on the Jammu and Kashmir border was being violated repeatedly in spite of friendly gestures by the two Prime Ministers, peaceniks gathered in Amritsar for the 18th Hind-Pak Dosti (India-Pakistan friendship) Mela.
At the event organised by Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, Folklore Research Academy, and Punjab Jagriti Manch, Jalandhar, they sought immediate end to hostilities and the government response to restore peace.
“The border tension is a big blow to the Confidence Building Measures, and leading to the loss of life and property on both sides,” said Folklore Research Academy president Ramesh Yadav. In the resolutions passed, the peaceniks requested India and Pakistan to work for stability in South Asia; give democratic rights and security to the minorities, women and children; allow trade; and cut down on the nuclear budget.