Pakistani and Indian soldiers on Thursday exchanged sweets and greetings on the occasion of Eidul Fitr at several points at the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
“On the occasion of Eidul Fitr, army representatives of India and Pakistan exchanged sweets at Poonch-Rawalakot Crossing Point and Mendhar Hot Spring Crossing Point in Krishna Ghati Sector of the LoC in J&K,” a spokesperson for the Indian army’s Udhampur-headquartered Northern Command, said.
“This will certainly strengthen the efforts towards maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Control,” he added.
Further, armed forces of the two countries also exchanged sweets at the international border in Rajasthan.
Pakistan and India have had a long history of uneasy and tense relations since partition, leading to unabated ceasefire violations in recent times.
In such circumstances, the traditional exchange of sweets between Pakistan Rangers and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on the Wagah and Kashmir borders during festivities on either side has been playing its role in defusing tensions to some extent.
In 2015, ceasefire violations had caused the tradition to witness a halt in July when sweets were not exchanged on Eidul Fitr. The forces also did not exchange sweets on the respective independence days in August. Nonetheless, on September 25, soldiers exchanged sweets and dry fruits on the occasion of Eidul Azha at the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
But it was Diwali on November 11 that proved to be the icebreaker, with the two sides getting along and Pakistan offering a basket full of sweets on the Attari-Wagah border to congratulate its neighbour. Analysts term exchange of sweets as a major way to dismantle tensions but also call for halting exchange of bullets once and for all to materialise the dream of durable peace and stability.