Greater Noida, Oct 25: In a bid to facilitate Armed forces on India-China border, the government announced setting up of 54 new border outposts and a Rs 175 crore package for beefing up the infrastructure along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.
Making the announcement at the 53rd raising day function of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) here on Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear that India wanted to solve the border dispute with China through dialogue. He asserted that “peace with honour” was most important requirement for building good friendly relations with that country and other neighbours.
Addressing the 53rd raising day function of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the 3,488 km long border from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Rajnath Singh said that India wants peace with China, but it cannot be at the cost of National honour and any compromise on the territorial integrity of the country.
“The infrastructural development on the Indian side of the border with China is necessary for facilitating our forces. There should be no concern for any infrastructural development on our side of the border from our neighbours,” he said, ading any issue along the border can be resolved through negotiations in a peaceful and cordial manner.
He further said that the Home Ministry is keen to modernize the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). He said that the Ministry is considering deploying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for keeping more effective surveillance of the borders.
Objecting to the unprovoked firing along the Pakistan border, Rajnath said that our neighbor should restrain from such activities as even on the day of Diwali, firing took place at the border.
He mentioned that such cease-fire violations are unacceptable to the country and our forces are forced to take appropriate retaliatory measures. While our eastern border is managed in a peaceful manner, our western neighbor should also maintain calm and peace at the border.
“Today when I talk about the border, be it with Pakistan or China, I feel pained and anguished over reports of ceasefire violations by Pakistan or incursions by Chinese troops,” he added.
On development of areas bordering China, the Home Minister said the Government has started working on a plan for setting up of 54 border outposts(BoPs) for ITBP and also a Rs 175 crore package for building infrastructure along the border in Arunachal Pradesh.
All these posts will be set up in Arunachal Pradesh where there were large gaps at the Line of Actual Control(LAC).
China has been objecting to any development of infrastructure along the LAC and setting up of border outposts leading to instances of stand-offs with India including during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to this country in September this year.
Singh also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi making it clear that India wants to maintain peaceful relations with all its neighbouring countries. “Our Prime Minister has told the Chinese President that if there is a dispute we should talk,” he said.
“India wants to keep friendly relations with our neighbours whether it is China or Pakistan. We believe in the philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ which means the world is one family and India has told the world about it,” he added.
When asked by newsmen to comment on reports that China was building an airfield and deploying radars close to the LAC, the Home Minister declined to get into any specifics beyond saying, “all issues regarding border dispute should be resolved through dialogue.”
Referring to Pakistan in his address, the Home Minister said the neighbouring country should stop firing on border posts and civilian areas and noted that Pakistan had fired upon the civilian areas along the border in Jammu and Kashmir just a day before Diwali.
“Pakistan fired on civilians even on the eve of Diwali festival and they did not even spare our festival. Pakistan should be wary of this. I want to tell Pakistan to stop this continuous violation of ceasefire,” he said.
The Home Minister said Pakistan should know that Indian forces guarding the border and armed forces possess the “capability to give a befitting reply” for these misadventures.
During his media interaction, Rajnath Singh said India never indulges in the violation of ceasefire and that it always believes in peace.
He also lauded the role of ITBP in guarding the country’s border in high altitude areas, and said the government will provide all help for the welfare of the force and its personnel.
On this occasion, 2 Police Medals for Gallantry, 6 President’s Police Medals for Distinguished Service, 24 Police Medals for Meritorious Service and 4 Jeevan Raksha Padak were conferred to the personnel of the Force. Service and Supply (SS) Battalion was awarded with ‘Best non border Battalion’ while 19th Battalion was awarded with ‘Best Border Battalion’ of the Force.
In his address, Shri Subhas Goswami, Director General, ITBP stressed the need for additional Battalions for ITBP as the Force is 100% dedicated to the security related duties. It is affecting the rest and recuperation requirement of the personnel of the Force who are deployed either at the higher altitudes, Counter Insurgency and other internal security duties.
(With Agency Inputs)