New Delhi: A high-level delegation of border guarding Pakistan Rangers is set to arrive here later this month for talks with its Indian counterpart BSF after a long spell of strained ties between the neighbours over a spate of ceasefire violations.
The Rangers delegation, led by its two Directors General (DGs), is expected to enter India through the land border at Wagah-Attari in Punjab on March 25 and will hold talks for five days with their Indian counterpart Border Security Force (BSF) at its headquarters here.
In a rare instance, both the Chiefs of Pakistan Rangers - Maj Gen Bilal Akbar (DG Rangers Sindh) and Maj Gen Khan Tahir Javed Khan (DG Rangers Punjab) - will attend the talks.
The visit has been pending for over a year now as BSF had sent the invite for DG-level talks early last year, but there had been no confirmation from the other side.
The visit was not taking shape as frequent ceasefire violations for the past eight months kept tempers high between the two sides in general, and the Rangers and BSF in specific.
"The Pakistan Rangers are arriving in India for the annual DG-level talks for five days from March 25 to March 29. The last time the two sides met was in December 2013 when the BSF travelled to Lahore.
Since then, the ties have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and the visit kept on getting delayed," a top Home Ministry official told PTI.
The BSF, the official said, is expected to take up the issue of ceasefire violations during this meeting even as it expects that their counterparts from across the border would be armed with similar dossiers.
"The two sides will want to talk and thrash out issues in a cordial manner. The Home Ministry and security establishment want to honour these talks as they are happening after a long hiatus. India will put across its statement of record of the last eight months when the border saw maximum tension due to repeated ceasefire violations," the official said.
The Indian side would be led by BSF Director General D K Pathak with officials drawn from border management division of the Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, PWD officials of the Punjab government, sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau and officials from the Survey of India among others.
The Pakistani delegation will have a dozen of senior officials from its security establishment including those from the Interior Ministry.