New Delhi/Attari (Punjab): A high-level delegation from Pakistan crossed over into India on Wednesday and arrived in New Delhi for director-level talks between the border forces of both countries.
Led by Pakistan Rangers’ Director General Maj. Gen. Umar Farooq Burki, the 15-member delegation entered India through the Attari-Wagah joint check-post.
The delegation was welcomed by senior Border Security Force (BSF) officers at Attari, from where they boarded a special aircraft to Delhi, where the talks will take place.
At Delhi airport, the delegation was welcomed by BSF Director General D.K. Pathak. Asked if the talks will reduce tension between the two countries, Pathak said: “That is the objective for the talks.”
The talks between the directors general of India’s BSF and Pakistan Rangers will be held despite heightened tension between both countries due to intermittent mortar shelling and firing along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Key issues to be discussed include repeated ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration. Pakistan is reported to be seeking revival of the international monitoring of violations.
The agreement for the talks, scheduled to last till Sunday, was reached when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met on July 10 in the Russian city of Ufa on the sidelines of the SCO summit.
The meeting of the directors general of the border forces assumes significance following the cancellation of the meeting of the two national security advisers last month after Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit invited Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of the talks. The directors general meeting is taking place after a gap of nearly 18 months.