The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Thursday did not exchange sweets and greetings with their counterparts Pakistan Rangers on the occasion of Diwali, for the second time in a month owing to border firing, while 50 villages across the border have been told not to light up lamps as they may get targeted for firing by Pakistani forces.
India and Pakistan traditionally exchange sweets on Eid and Diwali but this year no such practice was undertaken after the Independence Day. BSF officials said that no effort was made to work out the protocol for exchange of sweets Thursday.
The Attari-Wagah international land border between both the countries, 30 km from Amritsar, has a joint check post and is used for trading activity and allowing people from both sides to cross over. Punjab has a 553-km barbed wire fenced international border with Pakistan.
Meanwhile, residents of more than 50 border villages in Jammu and Kashmir cannot celebrate Diwali on Thursday as they have been told that the lamps they light will guide Pakistani forces to target them.
The rule is that the festival of lights will pass without earthern lamps and electric lights – and of course firecrackers – in these villages in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.
Indian authorities fear that the lamps and lights will be used by Pakistan Rangers to target civilian habitations.
Indian and Pakistani forces have been routinely firing at and shelling each other in recent times both along the international border as well as the Line of Control (LoC).