The bi-annual meet between the BSF and Rangers (Pakistan) has ended in New Delhi and the next meeting scheduled to be held after six months will take place in Pakistan. These are routine meets in which security matters pertaining to the International Border and the LoC are discussed. Evidently, both sides place their point of view and there is nothing new in allegations and counter allegations made in the course of deliberations. Though, the outcome of these meetings is nothing to sooth us yet the point is that meetings should continue and one should never lose the hope that good sense will prevail.
Obviously, both sides agree that unprovoked firing and shelling ultimately brings pain and suffering to the innocent civilians for no fault of theirs. They have once again reiterated that the wanton destruction of life and property should be avoided and as such greatest care has to be taken to protect civilian lives.
There are some strong points which Indian side put forth and Pakistani side needs to ponder over coolly. There is usually unprovoked firing from Pakistani side. It is purposefully done and the known purpose is to provide cover fire to the infiltrators who want to sneak into Indian side under the smokescreen of fire. It aims at diverting the attention of Indian border security force and let the infiltrators who are the jihadis equipped and armed to sneak into our side and disappear in the darkness of the night. Many of these infiltrators have been captured and they have given statements to the media. The second strong argument which Indian side has put forth is that of secret tunnels dug by the infiltrators from Pakistani side with logistical support from the Rangers. These tunnels have been discovered and the material obtained from there is a clear proof that Pakistani jihadis deployed for sneaking into our side and creating destabilization in J&K. BSF has discovered many tunnels so far and foiled the attempts of the intruders. Pakistani side cannot deny it because even the smugglers of narcotics also are reported to be making use of these tunnels. As far as narcotic smuggling is concerned, BSF has smashed a number of narcotic networks which had links with their counterparts across the border. It is highly desirable that the two sides cooperate in tackling narcotic smuggling because both countries are committed to uproot narcotic trade and as such a joint effort is welcome if they can make to eradicate the menace.
For Indian side, the crucial question is of infiltration by armed jihadis sent by several terrorist organizations flourishing on Pakistani soil. Though Pakistan has been making commitment to the US and even to the world body that she will not allow her soil to be used for launching attacks on neighbouring countries but the fact is that terrorist groups based and thriving on Pakistani soil are regularly sending infiltrators to sneak in and create law and order problem for us. These people cannot succeed in their mission if the Rangers meant for maintaining security of the border are not soft paddling with them.
We do not discourage these meetings between the top brass of security forces. These meets should continue and each party should try to understand the point of view of the other side. The simple logic is that India and Pakistan are two neighbouring countries with common past. They have to live as good neighbours. That implies having good and friendly intentions and not harbouring animus against each other. News trickling down suggests that the two sides have realised the need of increasing the frequency of the meets between the field commanders known as flag meetings to discuss and take decisions on the ground whenever something untoward happens along the IB. We think this is a sensible decision and both sides should try to stick to it without being provoked and intimidated.