Pakistani and Indian security officials have agreed to take strict action against cross-border smuggling and to maintain peace on the border, officials said Saturday.
Senior officials of Pakistani paramilitary Rangers and the Indian Border Security Force concluded their five-day bi-annual meeting in Lahore and agreed on "zero tolerance for smuggling" and to take strict action against the smugglers as per existing laws of the two states.
Officials also agreed that inadvertent crossers would be returned immediately to their respective countries, said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
Director Generals of both border guarding forces, who led their delegations, held face-to-face talks after one-and-half-year.
"Consensus was developed on matters like stoppage of illegal construction, removal of wild growth and maintenance of boundary pillars," the statement said.
The officials decided that regular meetings between the two border guarding forces at all levels of command will be held to ensure maintenance of peace and tranquility along the Working Boundary and the International Border.
Pakistan views the border region around Sialkot in Punjab as the Working Boundary as it runs between the end of the international border between Pakistan and India from southern Sindh province to Punjab and the beginning of the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
"Both director generals showed their commitment to maintaining the sanctity on Working Boundary as well as International Border and agreed to re-energize the existing mechanisms," the statement said.
A consensus was also developed to utilize available communication channels more effectively to control violation at the zero line, the statement said.
The security officials reiterated their resolve and commitment to continuing efforts for ensuring peace and tranquility on the Working Boundary and International Border.
The 20-member delegation of Pakistan Rangers was headed by Major General Khan Tahir Javed Khan-Director General/Pakistan Rangers (Punjab), whereas 13 member Indian delegation was headed by Shri Subhash Joshi-Director General BSF India.
The next meeting of the director generals will be held in New Delhi, within the first half of next year, the joint statement said.