New Delhi: Notwithstanding heightened tension along the border, India and Pakistan have taken the first step towards implementing the decision by their leaders in Russia to re-engage and a delegation of Pakistan Rangers will arrive here in September for talks with BSF.
The two sides have been engaged in a blame game following a series of ceasefire violations by Pakistan which resorted to mortar shelling of Indian areas over two days this week. India retaliated and both sides said they had suffered casualtiies.
The BSF-Pakistan Rangers meeting will take place as a follow up to the decision taken by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif when they met in Ufa, Russia on July 10. Among other things, it was decided that the National Security Advisers of the two countries to discuss all issues connected to terrorism.
"The dates for the Director General level talks between Pak Rangers and BSF has been fixed for September 9-13," official sources said here.
The last time the dates for this much delayed meeting was fixed was in March this year, they said, but Pakistan later postponed it citing change of guard at the helm of Punjab Rangers.
Pakistan Rangers have two Directors General (DsG)-- Punjab and Sindh.
Now, with a new DG in command at the Rangers Punjab, the delegation, led Maj Gen Bilal Akbar (DG Rangers Sindh) and new DG Maj Gen Umer Farooq Burki (DG Rangers Punjab) - will attend the talks at the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters here.
The delegation is expected to come here through the Attari-Wagah land border in Punjab.
The visit has been pending for over a year now as BSF had sent the invite for DG-level talks in early 2014.
The last time the two sides met was in December 2013 when a high-level BSF team travelled to Lahore.
Since then, the ties have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control.
The Indian side, the official said, is expected to take up the issue of ceasefire violations and those pertaining to border guarding logistics during this meeting even as it expects that their counterparts from across the border would be armed with similar issues.
"The two sides will want to talk and thrash out issues in a cordial manner especially after the premiers of the two sides decided to re-energise the ties. The Union Home Ministry and security establishment want to honour these talks as they are happening after a long hiatus and carry much significance," 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 is expected have a dozen senior officials from its security establishment including those from the Interior Ministry.