BSF commandant Sudeep Kumar greeted his counterpart of Pakistan Ranger’s Wing Commander Bilal Ahmed and exchanged sweets with him at Zero Line, Attari near Amritsar. Officers of Border Guarding Forces of both countries exchange pleasantries and greeted each other on the religious occasion .
During last Diwali, BSF had refused to greet Pak Rangers and didn’t give them sweets or exchanged pleasantries with them from three major international border posts of Attari, Hussaniwal and Sadqi in Punjab following heightened tension and enhanced cross border firing between India and Pakistan after Indian army’s surgical attacks in Pakistan Occupied Kashmr (POK).
According to prevalent border tradition, the Border Guarding forces of both India and Pakistan exchange sweets and greet each other on various religious festivals besides national events including Independent Day and Republic Day to maintain harmony on border and for coordination between two forces for better border management.
“Sweets and greetings are exchanged on border if there is’t anything much serious between two nations and the practice comes to halt if there is too bitterness in relations” said a BSF officer who didn’t want to give his name.
The sweets diplomacy not only indicates at the nature of current relations between two border guarding forces but also at the political relations and the diplomatic mood of governments of both countries .
The skirmishes at international border with Pakistan and LoC often takes toll of the sweets exchange diplomacy.
In 2015 there was no exchange of sweets and pleasantries on occasion of Eid festival after Pak Rangers didn’t turn up to exchange greetings on occasion of Eid ul Zuha in October 2014 but following diplomatic efforts there was a thaw in strained relations with Pakistan following which the border guarding forces again resumed the tradition and as a result the sweets were exchanged between two forces on Independence Day and Holi festival in 2016.
This year also BSF and Pak Rangers exchanged sweets on the occasions of Republic Day, Independence Day and Eid.
Source : timesofindia