Uncertainty over exchange of sweets between BSF, Pakistan Rangers on Eid
Uncertainty prevailed over exchange of sweets between Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers at the Attari-Wagah border on Eid on Monday. This comes in the wake of tension between India and Pakistan after abrogation of Article 370 in j&K. .
“Traditionally, on Eid, the Rangers offers us sweets and we reciprocate. Tomorrow, we will wait for Rangers’ gesture and then respond accordingly,” said BSF Amritsar sector deputy inspector general (DIG) JS Oberoi.
Forces of both sides have been following the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on festivals such as Diwali and Eid, as well as on Independence Day and Republic Day functions of the two neighboring countries.
Another BSF official on condition of anonymity said, “After India stripped Kashmir of its special status, Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India. There is good chance that rangers will not offer sweet to us.”
On Saturday, Pakistan suspended trade with India through integrated check post (ICP) at Attari border. Earlier, Pakistan had stopped all bus services between both the countries a day after the operation of the trans-border train Samjhauta Express was halted by the neighboring country in a unilateral action on Thursday. Even Pakistan had also expelled Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria.
India has earlier chosen to skip the tradition on Republic Day last year over growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the LOC. Similarly, after 2016 surgical strike in October 2016, BSF had not offered sweets to its Pakistan Rangers.
“It is a good practice to exchange sweets. Even though the relations between the neighboring countries have touched a new low, the tradition must be followed.” said Hrikrishan Arora, a social activist.
The forces of both sides at Attari-Wagah border have exchanged sweets on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr in June and on Republic Day in January this year.