The government will “completely seal” the India-Pakistan border by December 2018, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday, as part of an extensive plan to monitor the country’s frontier security.
Speaking to reporters in Jaisalmer, Singh said the process of sealing the frontier will be monitored on a monthly basis by the Border Security Force and the respective chief secretaries of the states concerned.
“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 government’s decision comes as tensions mount between India and Pakistan following an army strike on militant bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Islamabad has denied the military operation and said any attempt to infiltrate its territorial integrity will be rebuffed.
The home minister also 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,” said Singh.
The meeting took place at the BSF headquarters and was attended by Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, home ministers of Rajasthan and Gujarat -- Gulab Chand Kataria and Pradeep Kumar Jadeja-- respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, didn’t turn up and the state was represented by the chief secretary. Union minister for state for home, Kiren Rijiju, also attended the meeting.
Singh said that all the complaints filed by the BSF needs to be addressed at the earliest and charges framed. “Technology will play a major role in the creation of the Border Security Grid in remote areas. I appeal to the people of India to have full trust on armed forces, “ said Singh.
The minister’s comments came amid a bitter political fight over the “surgical strikes” with opposition parties demanding proof and the BJP accusing them of dishonouring the army.
Singh also hit out at political rival and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had accused the government of profiteering from soldiers.
“I don’t want to comment on the issue and would only like to say that every Indian citizen should show their full support for the army. Much like a farmer, who protects his crop at all cost, soldiers risk their lives for the country,” said Singh.