India, Pakistan border officials' meet begins Tuesday

Chandigarh, Dec 23 : A high-level meeting of border officials of India and Pakistan will begin in Lahore, Pakistan, from Tuesday, senior Border Security Force (BSF) officials said Monday. The meeting will end Dec 28.

The meeting is being held at a time tensions have been running high along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, following infiltration bids from Pakistan in recent months.

The smuggling of drugs from the Pakistan side into India along the International Border in Punjab has also increased this year.

BSF Director General (DG) Subhash Joshi will lead the Indian delegation to Pakistan for the meeting. The Pakistan side will be represented by Major General Rizwan Akhtar, DG of the Pakistan Rangers-Sindh.

Though the meeting between senior officers of the BSF and Pakistan Rangers is a bi-annual affair, this is the first time the BSF DG is himself leading the delegation. Earlier, the meeting was at the level of BSF special DG-west and inspector general.

The Indian delegation includes BSF special DG-west, inspector generals from Jammu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat frontiers and the BSF headquarters in New Delhi.

"This is the highest level border meeting between the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers. During this meeting, matters of bilateral concerns such as defence constructions, border incidents and trans-border crimes like drug trafficking, infiltration, smuggling of arms, ammunition and fake currency, inadvertent border crossings and other matters of mutual interest will be discussed for effective border management," BSF deputy inspector general and Punjab frontier spokesman R.P.S. Jaswal said.

The BSF officers will go to Lahore via the Attari-Wagah joint border check post Tuesday. They will return Dec 28.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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