In the wake of the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan and heightened tension along the border, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the government has decided to seal the entire stretch of 3,323-km-long Indo-Pak border by December 2018.
Briefing the press after chairing a security review meeting in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, Rajnath said that the implementation of the government decision to seal the international border will be carried out in a time-bound manner. The home minister also said that the development of the procedure will be done in a planned way, with a monitoring framework set up to review the the progress, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually.
The decision comes in the wake of rising India-Pakistan tension after the 18 September attack on a military base in Jammu and Kashmir and the later surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control.
On the question of securing the riverine belts, and areas where it is geographically unfeasible to put physical barrier along the border, Rajnath said that the government will look into technological solutions to ensure every inch of our land is guarded. According to The Indian Express, the technical solutions may include deployment of cameras, sensors, radars, lasers, etc.
The Home Minister also sought to assure that the nation's security will never be compromised with ample security arrangements made at the borders. Praising the armed forces, Rajnath also said that the way a farmer guards his farms, Indian soldiers are vigilant and guarding the borders.
Rajnath also said that a Border Security Grid will be formed, wherein suggestions will be sought from all stakeholders in the border areas. He said that in the security review meeting, suggestions were sought from the chief ministers, home secretaries, and DGPs of the four border states, based on which the basic framework of the Border security Grid will be prepared.
The home minister however stayed vary of commenting on issues apart from the proceedings of the meeting. When asked if he would like to comment on Rahul Gandhi's Khoon Ki Dalaali remark, Rajnath refused to comment. However, he later added that all citizens should unite and support the armed forces when the nation faces tough times. "I won’t comment, I will just say that in the face of tough times all the citizens should unite and be on the same page, irrespective of whichever line of profession they belong to," Rajnath said.
He also refused to comment on the rising demands of putting in public the proof of army surgical strike carried out in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Rajnath merely repeated that the entire nation trusts the armed forces and people should be patient and have faith in the army. " Tension between India and Pakistan has increased, so we should be united & believe in our army," he said.
The home minister is on a two-day visit to Rajasthan where he headed a security review meeting in Jaisalmer with home ministers, home secretaries, and deputy generals of police of four states whose boundaries touch Pakistan along with top BSF officials. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju was also present at the meeting. for amid repeated incidents of skirmishes along the Indo-Pak international border, according to ANI.
"It is a meeting of the Union Home Minister with the Home Ministers of the four states. Since the Chief Ministers and the Deputy Chief Minister (of Punjab) are holding the Home portfolio, they are participating in the meeting," a Home Ministry official said.
During the two-day visit, Singh will also hold meetings with top BSF officials and chair a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, officials said.
During the two-day trip, the Home Minister will tour border areas of Rajasthan and will visit Munabao, border outposts in Barmer and interact with BSF personnel.
Singh will also visit Murar, BoP in Jaisalmer and asses the situation along the Indo-Pak border. The meeting is being called to bring a synergy among the state police forces and Border Security Force, which guards the Indo-Pak border. Issues concerning the states are also expected to be discussed in the two-day deliberations, the officials said.
There have been many incidents of infiltration of terrorists through the border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and trans-border smuggling of goods, narcotics and fake Indian currency notes in Rajasthan and Gujarat, they said.
Of the 3,323-km-long Indo-Pak border, 1,225 km falls in Jammu and Kashmir (including Line of Control), 553 km in Punjab, 1,037 km in Rajasthan and 508 km in Gujarat.
After the security review meet in Jaisalmer, Rajnath will hold a meeting with BSF officials in Barmer on 8 October, according to the Barmer Collector Sudhir Sharma. Elaborate arrangements are being made for the visit, he said.
With inputs from PTI