Even as peaceniks have decided to go ahead with the candlelight vigil at the border this Independence Day, the Border Security Force (BSF) will neither be offering nor accepting sweets from its counterpart, the Pakistani Rangers, on the occasion.
Confirming the decision, BSF IG Anil Palliwal said, “The prevailing situation between the two countries has forced us to take this decision. We will neither take sweets from Pakistan nor offer it to them.”
The BSF IG maintained that this will be applicable on both August 14, which is Pakistan’s Independence Day, and India’s Independence Day on August 15.
BSF sources said that the recent attack at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district by three Pakistani terrorists and the killing of two BSF personnel in Udhampur, also by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists, had led to the BSF making an early announcement in this regard.
The souring of ties and customary courtesies between the two countries was recently seen when Pakistan refused a similar Indian gesture during Eid festivities last month.
Border guarding forces of the two countries have been following a tradition of exchanging sweets on national festivals and other events at the IB in Jammu and along the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab and few other locations in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
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.
There have been 19 ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border in the month of July only in which four persons, including three troops, have been killed and 14 others injured.
IG Palliwal said in view of Independence Day, the BSF has stepped up vigil and deployment has been increased along the border.