Close on the heels of the director general-level meetings to defuse the border tension between India and Pakistan, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel and their Pakistan Ranger counterparts exchanged sweets at the Attari-Wagah joint check-post on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha on Friday.
Since both had not exchanged sweets on Eid-al-Fitr on July 18 due to the escalated tension between the two countries along the Line of Control (LoC) and international border in Jammu and Kashmir, the resumption of the goodwill gesture came as a surprise to many. It is being seen as the outcome of the recent director general-level meetings held between the Rangers and the BSF in New Delhi.
After a confirmation to go ahead with the tradition on Thursday evening, BSF deputy inspector general MF Farooqui and Pakistan Rangers wing commander Bilal exchanged sweets at the check-post on Friday morning.
“The exchange of sweets happens only as per a pre-decided protocol at a joint meeting of both sides. This tradition has been followed at the border since long but it ran into troubled waters after the recent border tension in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this year. Hopefully, this tradition of sweet exchange will continue,” a BSF official said.
Friday’s move came as a surprise to many as Pakistan had shown a cold response last Eid and it was decided that the BSF would not offer sweets. The Pakistan Rangers and the BSF did not exchange sweets on Eid and Diwali last year besides this Republic Day. However, the tradition was resumed on March 23, 2015, when the Rangers offered sweets to India on Pakistan’s national day.
In the past one year, there has been tension between the two countries over firing incidents along the LoC and international border in Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorists from Pakistan launched an attack on Dinanagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district on July 27, leaving seven people dead.