The Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers personnel did not exchange sweets and greetings on the occasion of Pakistan Independence Day along the Attari-Wagah Border in Punjab, against the backdrop of bitterness in Islamabad over India ending special status to Jammu and Kashmir and deciding to carve out two union territories.
Earlier even on the occasion of Eid, Pakistani Rangers declined an offer by India’s border guarding force, Border Security Force, for the traditional exchange of sweets.
Traditionally, on the occasion of Eid, Pakistani Rangers offer sweets to the BSF, a gesture that was reciprocated by the Indian side Both BSF and Rangers have been following the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on national festivals like Diwali and Eid, as well as on the occasion of the Independence Day and Republic Day functions of the two neighbouring countries.
On Saturday, Pakistan suspended trade with India through integrated Attari check post. Pakistan has already stopped all bus services between both the countries as well as the trans-border Samjhauta Express. Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria has already returned to India after the Imran Khan government downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi.
The BSF didn’t exchange sweets with Pakistan Rangers at the border on the occasion of Republic Day last year to protest the growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the Line of Control. Similarly, in October 2016, after Indian Army carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, the BSF didn’t exchange sweets with the Pakistani Rangers in October 2016 on the occasion of Diwali.