In a major step aimed at completely sealing 2300 kilometers long International Boundary with Pakistan running across four States of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly given nod to a series of scientific measures-both as short and long term, to strengthen border fencing and plug the gaps. It has also decided to set up the Border Security Grid, which would be in addition to Anti-Infiltration and Anti-Militancy Grids that exist in Jammu and Kashmir. Decisions to this effect were taken in a meeting of four border States, which share International Boundary with Pakistan, held at Jaisalmer in Rajasthan today under the chairmanship of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Chief Secretary BR Sharma and Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra Kumar represented Jammu and Kashmir in the meeting in the absence of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who holds charge of the Home Department. Sources told the Excelsior that Rajnath Singh chaired two meetings-first with Chief Ministers or their representatives and Home Ministers of four border States and senior officers followed by an exclusive meeting with top brass of BSF, which mans the International Border with Pakistan and senior representatives of the State Governments in which the border security, steps to prevent infiltration, border management and any threat from Pakistan side were discussed in detail. According to sources, the Home Ministry has decided to install second layer of border fencing along LoC and IB. Though the LoC fencing falls in the domain of the Defence Ministry, the latter has given its nod to the proposal as the Government of India wants to curb the infiltration from Pakistan at any cost. “Second layer of fencing would help in checking infiltration to quite an extent,” sources said, adding apart from this, the Home Ministry has also mooted installation of radars, Close Circuit Television Sets fitted with high resolution and sophisticated cameras, laser walls and motion sensors. Disclosing that all these proposals figured during today’s meeting Rajnath Singh and his deputy Kiren Rijiju had with Chief Ministers or their representatives from four border States and senior officers of BSF, police and civil administration, sources said the proposals were likely to be cleared by the Cabinet shortly after which their implementation process would start. These measures along the borders to curb infiltration by the militants, according to sources, were short term and in the long term the Centre proposed to completely seal entire 2300 kilometers International Boundary with Pakistan in all four States. They added that various proposals were under consideration for “completely sealing” the border with Pakistan including raising wall, which was mooted earlier. However, the legal routes of crossing and trade with Pakistan and PoK would be exempted from the purview of “complete sealing” of the borders, which included Poonch-Rawlakote and UriMuzaffarabad in Jammu and Kashmir, both falling along the LoC and Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab on the IB. Sources said the Government also proposed to set up a Border Security Grid for all four States, which would serve as major deterrent for infiltration and other “undesirable activities” on the border. The Home Ministry has invited suggestions from all stakeholders on setting up of the Border Security Grid including its composition. As the Border Security Grid was a new composition, the Government would be seeking suggestions and framing guidelines for it shortly. Rajnath has kept the target of December 2018 for complete sealing of the borders with Pakistan in all the four States. The Home Minister chaired meeting decided that all the projects like complete sealing of the borders, setting up of Border Security Grid and strengthening border fencing, both in short and long terms would be time bound and monitored by the Home Minister after every two to three months to expedite them and complete them at the earliest. Sources said for sealing the border, technology will also be used. “Like we have riverine and Sir Creek area in Gujarat, there we will make maximum use of technology for effective sealing of border,” sources said. PTI adds from Jaisalmer: Rajnath Singh chaired the meeting attended by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal, Gujarat and Rajasthan’s Home Ministers Pradeepsinh Jadeja and Gulab Chand Kataria respectively and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Brij Raj Sharma, an official said. Senior BSF officials were present at the meeting here which reviewed security arrangements on the border in the wake of tension between India and Pakistan after surgical strike by Army on terror camps across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Rajnath counselled that leaders must exercise restraint in their comments on security challenges before the country at a time when tension between India and Pakistan has increased. Singh said this without giving a directly reply to a volley of questions by reporters on the controversial remarks made by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi yesterday on the sacrifice of soldiers. Gandhi had accused Centre of doing politics on the bodies of soldiers. “I do not wish to comment on that but when there is a big challenge before the nation, we should stand by our forces. At a time when tension between India and Pakistan is increasing, countrymen should trust the security and armed forces and stand by them. “People from all walks must exercise restraint. The country should support the forces,” he said. The Home Minister was briefing reporters on the meeting he held in this desert town in Rajasthan with Chief Ministers of five States sharing border with Pakistan.
Source:- Daily Excelsior