- Exchange of sweets and greetings between the two border guarding forces has been a traditional border ritual which often comes to halt when tension between two countries escalates
- This is not the first time that border ritual was suspended but in past, there had been several instances when both BSF, as well as Pak Rangers, had refused to exchange sweets and pleasantries
The traditional bonhomie between Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers, border guarding forces of India and Pakistan respectively, was missing on Monday at Attari-Wagah border after Pakistan Rangers declined to receive sweets and exchange greetings with BSF to mark the religious occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha.
“Pak Rangers conveyed us that they will not receive sweets or exchange greetings on the occasion of Eid,” said BSF, deputy inspector general, BS Rawat while talking to TOI.
Exchange of sweets and greetings between the two border guarding forces has been a traditional border ritual which often comes to halt when tension between two countries escalates.
Sources informed that Pakistan government’s decision to drop the friendlier gesture at the border was like its other unilateral decisions including stopping of train and bus service, suspension of trade, downgrading of diplomatic ties etc. by Islamabad after New Delhi revoked special status given to Jammu and Kashmir.
This is not the first time that border ritual was suspended but in past, there had been several instances when both BSF, as well as Pak Rangers, had refused to exchange sweets and pleasantries.
In June, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, BSF had refused to accept sweets and exchange greetings with Pak Rangers in protest against the killing of four BSF personnel’s including an assistant commandant rank officer by Pakistani Rangers along the international border in Jammu’s Ramgarh sector. Before this BSF had refused to follow the border tradition on January 26, the Republic Day due to continuous violation of ceasefire by Pakistan.
In Punjab, BSF and Pak Rangers exchange sweets and pleasantries at Attari, Hussaniwala and Sadqi international border posts.
Sources informed that there was the zilch possibility of exchange of sweets and greetings on August 14 and August 15, independence days of Pakistan and India respectively.
Not only the border skirmishes but the political decisions like abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir becomes a reason for suspension of border ritual as the sweets diplomacy have become an indicator of nature of current relations and political mood of the governments of two nations.
Notably, BSF and Pak Rangers exchange sweets and greetings on various religious festivals besides national events including Eid, Diwali, Holi, Independent Day Republic Day etc. for better coordination between two forces engaged in border management to maintain harmony on the international border.