New Delhi, Jan 26: The Border Security Force (BSF) did not exchange sweets with the Pakistan Rangers at Attari-Wagah border on Friday during the Beating The Retreat ceremony on Republic Day. Earlier, there were reports that the customary exchanging of sweets might not take place in protest against the continuous ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC).

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Director General of BSF, KK Sharma, hoped that the old tradition of exchanging sweets will be revived soon, “Atmosphere was such that no exchange of sweets took place with Pakistan Rangers. I think in the coming time old tradition of exchanging sweets will be revived soon,” he said.

The BSF and Pakistan Rangers have been traditionally sharing sweets on the occasion of Republic Day, Independence Day, Diwali, Eid and other festivals.The BSF is on maximum alert along Punjab’s barbed wire fenced 553-km IB with Pakistan.

Sharma added, “Ceasefire violations was the main issue of discussion during flag meeting with Pakistan. Both sides agreed that ceasefire violations should be reduced. BSF never initiates ceasefire violation.”

At least 13 people, including seven civilians, have been killed in unprovoked Pakistani firing along the IB and LoC in the few days. A soldier injured in Pakistani firing died on Wednesday, January 24, at a hospital in Rajouri.

Meanwhile, sweets were exchanged between troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards, Bangladesh at the Fulbari border in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Friday on the occasion of India’s 69th Republic Day.

It has been a long running tradition between the two forces to exchange sweets on the occasion. The tradition assumes significance as it shows goodwill between both the nations.