India will completely seal its border with Pakistan by 2018 says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Talking to reporters here after a meeting to review the situation on the border in the wake of heightened tension with Pakistan, Rajnath Singh said the plan to seal the border will be implemented in a time-bound manner with the process being periodically monitored at multiple levels.
“The Home Ministry has set a target of fully sealing the Indo-Pakistan border by December 2018. To achieve this target, the action plan prepared is fully time bound and the implementation will be fully monitored periodically, monthly and quarterly,” Singh said.
“We have given special emphasis on monitoring, because by December 2018, we want to achieve the target of fully sealing the Indo-Pakistan border,” said Singh, adding that technological help will be taken to seal off the riverine sections of the border.
Chairing the meet where representatives of states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir were present, Singh sought the active participation of the four bordering states to secure the international border with Pakistan by putting physical and non-physical barriers.
A new concept, “Border Security Grid,” would be put in place and the border states have given their suggestions on it, he said.
“On that basis, we will give a final shape to this Border Security Grid and the central government will issue guidelines in this regard to the respective state governments,” he added.
The meeting was attended by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Gujarat Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja. Chief Secretaries of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir were also present.
The decision to seal border with Pakistan has come in the wake of heightened tension with Pakistan since the September 18 terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir and the surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control by the army.
Rajnath Singh also said that the states have been directed to take action on complaints by the BSF.
“I have also urged the states that whenever the BSF lodges any complaints, they should be properly registered and investigated and charge-sheet filed. Whosoever found guilty should be punished, and the states have been asked to pay special attention to this aspect,” he added.
Singh also asked the home ministry, the BSF and the participating states for faster implementation of infrastructure projects, effective monitoring, intelligence sharing and inter-agency cooperation in view of the prevailing security scenario in the country. He also invited the suggestions in this regard from the participants.
The home ministry also made a presentation in which the participants deliberated all the issues and gave their valuable suggestions.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju also shared his views on the management of border situation.
It was resolved that the central and state governments will work together to resolve all problems at the earliest for effectively protecting the border.
While Raje raised issues regarding police modernization, security in the hinterland and the peculiar problems due to sparsely populated desert area with shifting sand dunes, Badal drew attention to the problems of farmers having land across the border and the problems created by the smuggling of arms and drugs from Pakistan.
Jadeja stated that in the marshy areas of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, where fencing is not possible, there is a need for improvement in the construction of roads and use of technology for surveillance.
India shares 3,323-km (including the Line of Control) of land border with Pakistan running along the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.