Following people’s ire and political backlash, the Punjab government on Friday revoked its September 29 decision to evacuate around 1,000 villages situated within the 10-km belt along the Pakistan border in the state.
The move follows a decision by the Union home minister Rajnath Singh at a meeting with chief ministers of western border states in Jaisalmer, where the situation along the border with Pakistan was reviewed, said a Punjab government spokesman.
“Since Pakistan chose to deny surgical strikes, chances of a military reaction from the across the border also diminished,” Punjab chief minister’s adviser Harcharan Bains said in a statement.
Central Government has revoked its earlier decision to evacuate the border villages of Punjab following #SurgicalStrikesAgainstPak. /1— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) October 7, 2016
This decision was taken after a review of the situation along the entire border with Pakistan in a meeting held at Jaisalmer yesterday./2— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) October 7, 2016
Meanwhile, state chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal has directed deputy commissioners of all six border districts to take steps for smooth return of the affected people to their villages.
The Union government had ordered evacuation in border villages apprehending retaliation from Pakistan after surgical strikes across the Line of Control on September 29.
Many families had refused to leave saying they had to tend to their crops, cattle and properties. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party targeted the state government and the Akali-BJP combine for overreacting to the situation and ordering evacuation.