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We tried many times, but Pak never turned up for flag meeting: BSF

Last updated on: August 26, 2014 18:36 IST

Amid cross-border firing incidents and India's efforts to stop the ceasefire violations, Director General of Border Security Force D K Pathak on Tuesday said the Pakistani side was not cooperating to defuse the situation on the International Border.

"We have made all possible efforts to stop it (ceasefire violations and firing). We tried four to five times to hold flag meetings. But they (the Pakistani side) did not respond to it... They never turned up," Pathak told reporters after a whirlwind visit to the forward areas along the IB.

The BSF chief visited several forward areas and met the jawans in a bid to boost their morale. He asked the jawans to give strong and befitting reply to the ceasefire violations.

"We have lodged with them protest notes 16 to 17 times after firing incidents and ceasefire violations," Pathak said. Asked about the decision to hold flag meetings at field levels by both the army and the BSF to defuse the situation, Pathak said, "I hope peace prevails. We have made so many efforts..."

"In fact, ever since this problem started as many as 16 attempts of contacting them over telephone through established channel of communication have been made. They only responded to the initial calls and thereafter they have not responded and there have been no initiation from their end," he added.

During the Director General of Military Operations level telephonic talks earlier on Tuesday, India and Pakistan have agreed to hold flag meetings at field levels by both the army and the BSF to defuse the situation, Army officials said.

The DGMOs -- Lt Gen PR Kumar from India and Major General Amir Riaz from Pakistan -- discussed the border situation during their talk on hotline which takes place every Tuesday.

Asked about the DGMO level meeting, the BSF DG said he was not mandated to speak on it. The firing by Pakistani forces in the last 45 days was possibly the "heaviest" since the 1971 Indo-Pak war, the BSF said.

"Yes it is (the heaviest firing) for last so many years--I think may be after the 1971 war. 45 days is a very long period for this kind of thing to happen", Pathak said.

He was replying to a question from a journalist whether it is the heaviest firing one has seen along the border. Giving details of the pattern of the firing, Pathak said "as you are aware the firing took place for the last 45 days, to be more precise since the first incident of sniper took place on July 17 when a jawan died in the incident. It lasted for about 10 days or so. Then, there was a brief lull. This month, there was firing through out the nights and some times during day time also".

The firing from across the border on all posts is going on, he said adding firing is also targeting civilian areas.

"Last year, such an incident had taken place in September and it lasted for 20 to 25 days but this time it was the heaviest", he added.

The BSF chief said "we have retaliated effectively to the firing from across the border".

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