Needless cycle of violence

Two Rangers personnel embraced martyrdom as Indian Border Security Force (BSF) violated the Line of Control (LoC) aiming shots at the officers in Shakargarh Sector. According to the Pakistan Rangers spokesperson, BSF local commander called them over for a flag meeting and opened fire as two of the soldiers reached the border. Both the officers died succumbed to the injuries. BSF resorted to intense unprovoked firing in Shakarghar sector of Narowal district late Wednesday night. According to Punjab Rangers, intermittent firing continued till early Thursday morning. Pakistan Rangers troops responded to Indian firing in a befitting manner; however, there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Indian aggression on the first day of the new year gave the message of mounting hostility of Indian government since Modi became the prime minister.  It seems that 2015 will be no different to the previous year. Last year, cross-border clashes became alarmingly frequent with each side accusing the other of provoking retaliatory fire. More than 20 people lost their lives as the two sides traded fire, with each accusing the other of initiating the skirmishes.

It is the need of hour that representatives of both the governments must indulge in talks to take concrete measures to halt the armed clashes on the border. Whenever uniformed security personnel are shooting at each other, very often at the border, there remains the possibility of escalation and both the countries possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan-India exchanged lists of the nuclear sites and also of prisoners on the very first day of the new year that was a good confidence- building measure.  Such measures required. The armed forces on both sides of the border need to desist from being draggers drawn; civilians have also been killed in these border skirmishes. Enough blood has been spilt and enough vitriol has been issued; the new year must bring in some hope for peace along the border.


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