A top Border Security Force (BSF) officer on Wednesday said “there is unusual movement of the Pakistan army on the posts across the border in Barmer in Rajasthan and it amounts to a ‘defensive operation alert’”.
Additional Director General of the Border Security Force U.K.Bansal, who toured the border areas in Barmer, told Hindustan Times by phone that there were posts on the Pakistan side that were usually manned by the country’s Rangers, who are tasked with border security. Pakistani troops had been frequently visiting these posts in the past 2-3 days, which is not done in normal situations.
“We also do the identical movement whenever we prepare for war. But as of now, BSF is manning the border posts and army is not visiting these posts as situation is normal on our side,” Bansal said.
The ADG made it clear that India is taking the situation on the Pakistan side seriously and keeping a close watch on the movements of the Pakistan army.
His boss, BSF Director General M.L. Kumawat, however, said, “We all know there are some developments but there is no need to exaggerate.”
There were some reports on Indian TV channels saying the center had written to the Rajasthan government asking for villages in border districts to be evacuated. State Home Secretary S.N. Thanvi denied this.
“We have not received any such letter. I have checked with a senior officer of the Ministry of Home Affairs who has also denied it,” said Thanvi.
A senior BSF official suggested the reports of Pakistani forces raising the deployment could be posturing as well as a defensive exercise since India had a higher number of security personnel guarding the border than Pakistan.
“Besides, a large number of Pakistani Rangers were withdrawn from border duties for deployment on internal security duties over the last 3-4 months… So any strengthening of the security establishment at this time also implies that they will either reach their original strength or a little more, with or without the presence of army,” the officer said on conditions of anonymity.