May 2001 News

India, Pak to end J&K border clash

13 May 2001
The Hindustan Times
Muhammad Najeeb

Islamabad: The Pakistan Rangers and Border Security Force (BSF) have agreed to put an immediate end to firing across the working boundary in the Jammu-Sialkot sector of Jammu and Kashmir and the targeting of innocent civilians, news reports said on Sunday. "During the meeting it was re-affirmed that no attempts would be made to alter the status of the working boundary through erection of fences or establishment of defense-oriented structures," Ma-jor-General Zarrar Azim, the director general of Pakistan Rangers, was quoted as saying. Azim headed the 12-member Pakistani delegation that held four-day talks with its Indian counterpart. The talks are part of regular bi-annual meetings held in Jalandhar. The next bi-annual meeting will be held in October this year in Lahore. The meeting was also attended by officials of the Survey, Works and Narcotics Control Departments of both the countries. Azim expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the talks and said both sides arrived at a consensus on many issues. The two sides also expressed satisfaction at the maintenance of boundary pillars and joint surveys conducted for the purpose, and agreed that measures being taken to stop smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal immigration would be strengthened. Azim said the two sides also agreed to exercise restraint while dealing with inadvertent bord-er crossers. He said exchanges of people who had mistakenly cros-sed territory would take place on May 28. "We are holding 27 Indians and the Indians have five Pakistani nationals," he stated. He said all such persons would be returned to their respective homelands after verifying their credentials. He said the Pakistani side had reiterated its earlier stand of not allowing the erection of a fence on the working boundary as it considers the area "disputed."

 

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