Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government will completely seal the India-Pakistan border by December 2018 as part of an extensive plan to monitor the country”™s frontier security.
“It has been decided that the entire length of the Indo-Pak border will be sealed in a time-bound way by December 2018”. An action plan has been prepared in consultation with security agencies,” said Singh.
The process of sealing the frontier will be monitored on a monthly basis by the BSF & the respective chief secretaries of the states concerned.
Tensions are rising between India & Pakistan following the Uri Attack, the surgical strike & the unceasing ceasefire violations from Pakistan. Islamabad, as usual, has continued to deny its involvement in any of the terrorist attacks or the ceasefire violations.
Rajnath Singh announced the creation of a Border Security Grid which will serve as a streamlined platform for border-related issues. “Guidelines have been prepared for this by the central government,” he said.
The meeting took place at the BSF headquarters. Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, home ministers of Rajasthan & Gujarat ““ Gulab Chand Kataria & Pradeep Kumar Jadeja respectively ““ attended the meeting, although Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti didn”™t turn up & the state was represented by the chief secretary. Union minister for state for home, Kiren Rijiju, also attended the meeting.
Rajnath Singh urged the representatives of the states that all complaints filed by the BSF should be addressed at the earliest. He also said, “Technology will play a major role in the creation of the Border Security Grid in remote areas.” He asked the Ministry of Home Affairs, the BSF & the participating states to expedite the implementation of infrastructure projects, to ensure effective monitoring, intelligence sharing & inter-agency cooperation.
Individual concerns by states were also raised ““
- Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje talked about the need of modernizing the police force, raising security in the hinterland, & unique problems related to sparsely populated desert areas.
- Punjab CM Sukhbir Badal talked about the problems faced by farmers who have land across the border, & problems arising from smuggling of arms & drugs from Pakistan.
- MoS of Home Affairs, Gujarat, Pradeep Jadeja said that there is a need for improvement in construction of roads & better use of technology for surveillance in the marshy areas of the Rann.
The striking point in the way the government has gone about this is that it is taking the states as partners & not just viewing the problem of infiltration of terrorists & smuggling as a national issue. The states are very much part of the process & this can drastically reduce the time-lag generally experienced in implementation in any plan of such enormity.
It was high-time that the central government thought about a long-term & concrete solution to the problem of infiltration & smuggling from Pakistan, & this effort to totally seal the border is surely one in that direction.