The traditional bonhomie between the border guarding forces of India and Pakistan will be missing at the Attari-Wagah border on the nation’s 71st Republic Day on Sunday as the Pakistan Rangers declined to receive sweets and exchange greetings with the Border Security Force (BSF).
“We sent a message to the Rangers on Saturday regarding exchange of sweets, but they refused. So, the sweets will not be exchanged on Sunday,” a senior BSF official said.
The forces of the neighbouring countries have not been exchanging sweets on the special occasions at the border since India abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Forces of both sides had been following the tradition of exchanging sweets and gifts on festivals like Diwali and Eid, as well as on Independence Day and Republic Day functions of the two neighbouring countries.
The troops of India and Pakistan at Attari-Wagah border had exchange sweets on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr and on Republic Day in last year.
India had earlier chosen to skip the tradition on January 26, 2018, over growing incidents of ceasefire violations across the LoC. Similarly, after the 2016 surgical strike in October 2016, the BSF did not offer sweets to Pakistan Rangers.