WORLD
REPUBLIC DAY 2018
BSF refuses to exchange sweets with Pakistan Rangers over ceasefire violations
- TEAM PT
BSF refuses to exchange sweets with Pakistan Rangers over ceasefire violations



The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday refused to exchange sweets and greetings with their Pakistani counterparts - the Pakistan Rangers, on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day.

The move by the BSF came following the heightened tension between both countries along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir due to repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces leading to killing of soldiers and civilians on the Indian side.
 
13 people - including seven civilians - have been killed in recent ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu alone. Congress, which is in opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, has likened the situation along the IB and LoC to a war.

The most recent death took place yesterday, when a soldier injured in firing on Wednesday died during treatment.
 
BSF sources said it was conveyed to the Pakistan Rangers on Thursday that no sweets will be exchanged on Republic Day. The BSF is on maximum alert along Punjab’s barbed wire fenced 553-km IB with Pakistan.
 
Indian security forces have said that they are responding to the ceasefire violations with "pin-pointed retaliation". "BSF is giving suitable and pin-pointed retaliation to unprovoked fire by Pakistani forces from across the IB in Jammu. At several locations, the enemy's firing positions, ammunition and fuel dump have been destroyed by precision firing of the border guarding force personnel," a BSF spokesperson was quoted as saying by PTI earlier this week.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has blamed India for the violations, with its army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa warning India against any "misadventure[s]". "Our commitment to abide by the ceasefire agreement of 2003 should never be misconstrued as response limitation. Indian aggression or any misadventure shall always get a most befitting response," Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying by PTI.

Border guards of both countries follow a tradition of exchanging sweets for the past several years on major religious festivals, like Eid and Diwali, and also during Independence Days of both countries and India's Republic Day.
 

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