Pakistan takes down cameras from Barmer border

  • Mukesh Mathrani, Hindustan Times, Barmer
  • Updated: Jul 15, 2015 18:32 IST
Cameras spotted on India-Pakistan border.

After India's strong objection to the installation of CCTV cameras along the international border in Barmer and Jaisalmer, Pakistan removed all 11 cameras on Tuesday.

Pakistan had earlier installed CCTV cameras about 150 to 600 metres from the India-Pakistan border near Barmer and Jaisalmer districts to keep vigil on army activities and security arrangements in India. The border security force (BSF) on Thursday registered a strong protest with the Pakistani rangers, following which the cameras set up in the Jaisalmer sector were taken down, but the ones in the Barmer sector were only removed on Tuesday.

“On Tuesday night, Pakistan has removed all the 11 cameras that were installed along the international border in Barmer (Rajasthan),” said Pratul Gautam, deputy inspector general of the BSF, Barmer sector.

Gautam informed that the move came after the BSF warned of raising the issue at the DIG- and IG-level meeting.

India’s objection to the installation of CCTV cameras was backed by international norms, which states that no cameras can be installed within 500 metres of an international border. However, the cameras were strategically placed between just 150 to 600 metres.

While two or three cameras were set up in the Jaisalmer sector, the remaining were installed along the Barmer sector at a height of about 15 to 20 metres. Solar panels were also attached to the cameras for power.

It is to be mentioned here that this was not the first time Pakistan flouted international norms and encroached on the restricted area.

After a train service was started between the two countries, Pakistan had constructed a railway platform a mere 100 metres from the international border. As recently as April, the Pakistan army’s unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, were seen flying less than 300 metres from the border near Ganganagar, Bikaner and Jaisalmer to monitor the Indian army’s movement and security arrangements.

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