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India-Pakistan Border Force Talks to Start from today

New Delhi: Amidst rising tensions along the border and the Line of Control (LoC), India and Pakistan has begun director general-level talks between the border forces of both countries here starting from Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, a 15-member delegation of the Pakistan Rangers already arrived in New Delhi for the talks. The team is led by Major General Umar Farooq Burki, Director General of the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).

The Pakistan Rangers delegation entered India via Attari, and was welcomed by senior BSF officers including DG Pathak. There, they boarded a special aircraft to Delhi, where the talks will take place.

From the Indian side, the delegation for the talks will be led by Border Security Force (BSF) Director General DK Pathak and 22 other personnel.

The talks between the Rangers and the Border Security Force (BSF) will start at 10 am today and continue till September 12.

The top agenda of the talks will be ceasefire violations. Just yesterday, at least two BSF personnel were wounded in firing in Nowgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Pakistani Army also fired at Indian positions on Wednesday along the LoC in Poonch district.

The talks, one of the measures agreed upon during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, gain special significance after the National Security Adviser-level talks could not take place due to Pakistan's insistence on discussing Kashmir.

The Indian delegation to talks will also include officials from the Home Ministry, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Survey of India.

"During the conference, discussions will be held on important issues like cross-border firing, infiltration and smuggling etc. The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures," a BSF official said.

With some 100 ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border since the Ufa talks, the issue of reducing the tension between the two countries is likely to dominate the agenda from the Indian side, sources said.

Till June this year, there have been 199 ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the International Border while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. In 2013, it was 347.


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