CHAMBALIYAL: In a sign of renewed bonhomie, the Border Security Force and the Pakistan rangers today exchanged greetings and sweets as they met at the International Border here to mark the historic Chambaliyal fair.
A delegation of Pakistan rangers, police officers and officials from the civil administration met their Indian counterparts on the zero line as they exchanged pleasantries and pledged to continue with the bonhomie.
Speaking on the occasion, Brigadier Waseem Zaffar Bhatti, sector commander of the Pakistan Rangers said, "It's an honor to be here. We have been meeting but today is a different environment and we are thankful to the Indian side for giving us such a warm welcome."
"Sharing experiences bring change, change for good," he said.
Thousands of people celebrated the annual fair with traditional gaiety near the International Border (IB) of Samba district in Jammu division.
The Pakistani side brought a 'chad Thousands of people celebrated the annual fair with traditional gaiety near the International Border (IB) of Samba district in Jammu division.dar' (holy blanket) for shrine which was handed over to the BSF.
The Indian authorities also handed over 'shaker' (holy soil)' and 'sharbat' (holy water) from the shrine to the visiting team for the devotees on their side of the fence.
Thousands of people visited the shrine of Baba Chambaliyal to celebrate 324th anniversary of Dileep Singh Manhas, who was popularly known as Baba Chambaliyal, on the concluding day of fair today.
While the fair on Indian side is held for three days in the shrine complex in Chambaliyal village, it is held on the Pakistani side for a week in Saida Wala village of Sialkote district. Saida Wala village lies opposite Chambaliyal across the IB.
The shrine is famous for curing skin diseases by its sacred earth and water (popularly known as shaker and sharbat).
Baba Chambaliyal, after whom the village is named, was revered by people because of his saintly qualities and spiritual powers. Till 1971, Pakistanis were allowed on this side of the border to pay obeisance at the shrine and offer 'chadar', but after 1971 Indo-Pak war, the practice was stopped.
A popular belief both on the Indian and Pakistani side along the border is that the soil and water from the shrine cures skin diseases. As a result, it draws a large number of devotees from northern part of India.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the function, Deputy Inspector General of BSF B S Kasana said, "Interactions like these help improve relationships, sharing experiences help develop good relations."