Growing Bitterness: No exchange of sweets, greetings this R-Day with Pakistan

Punjab: The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday refused to exchange sweets and greetings with their Pakistani counterparts – the Pakistan Rangers, on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day.

The move by the BSF came following the heightened tension between both countries along the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir due to repeated ceasefire violations leading to killing of soldiers and civilians.

Tension continues to prevail along the IB and LoC for the past few months due to repeated ceasefire violations.

BSF sources said it was conveyed to the Pakistan Rangers on Thursday that no sweets will be exchanged on Republic Day.

Border guards of both countries follow a tradition of exchanging sweets for the past several years on major religious festivals, like Eid and Diwali, and also during Independence Days of both countries and India’s Republic Day.

The BSF is on maximum alert along Punjab’s barbed wire fenced 553-km IB with Pakistan.

In the past 4-5 years, border guards have skipped the exchange of sweets on a few occasions.

The exchange ceremony is mainly held at the Attari-Wagah joint check post, 30 km from Amritsar.

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