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Only bonhomie on border

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 08:02 IST

What happens when Indian troops guarding the Line of Control meet their counterparts across the border? Catch each other by the scruff of their necks and blame one another for the mess in Kashmir? The politicians will be disappointed, but that is the last thing the jawans do when they bump into each other. They talk girlfriends, cricket, Bollywood… the regular locker-room banter.

As dusk sets in on the last point across the LoC in Poonch, a Pakistani jawan shouts across the border, “Buddy, what’s for dinner?”

The jawans get this opportunity to engage in some easy talk whenever members of separated families cross the Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing on the LoC in Poonch, 250 km northwest of Jammu. On October 9, when 44 Indians and 42 Pakistanis crossed the LoC, the Indian and Pakistani officers got their chance to catch up with the latest.

The Indians officers wished the Pakistanis on Ramzan. One of the Indians, Captain Ashrat, wanted to know if the Pakistanis were as strict about their Ramzan fast as he was. And then, some cricket. "Hey, what’s wrong with Inzy? He was such a cool customer. But the four match ban on him is just not justified," Captain Ashrat told his Pakistani “friend” Captain Khurram.

But it was Pakistan’s Lt Tahir who came in for some ribbing. “Want to know his complete name? It is Khan Bahadur Nawab Khan Sir Sahabzada Abdul Qayoom Khan Sagar Nawab Tahir Ahsan Khan Khatak," his friend Lt Khalid told the Indians.