54 new BoPs, Rs 175 cr infra package on China border announced
Greater Noida: Unfazed by China’s objections to development of border areas, Government on Friday 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.
The announcement was made by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh even as he made it clear that India wanted to solve the border dispute with China through dialogue, asserting “peace with honour” was most important requirement for building good friendly relations with that country and other neighbours.
“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 said at the 53rd raising day function of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) here, which guards the 3,488 km long border from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
“Humlog shanti chahte hai samman ki saath. Asamman ke saath shanti nahi ho sakti (We want peace with honour. Peace cannot come at the cost of honour,” he said, referring to the recent border row with China.
“Pride is the ultimate accomplishment of a human being, of mine and yours,” 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.
Singh also said the Government was looking into the demand for a dedicated air support for the ITBP personnel.
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.
Singh also disapproved of Pakistan’s recent move of approaching the UN to internationalise the Kashmir issue and seeking the world body’s intervention, saying all issues can be resolved through bilateral talks.
He said the government will ensure India’s territorial integrity and will not compromise with the country’s pride.
During his media interaction, the Home Minister said India never indulges in the violation of ceasefire and that it always believes in peace.
“Firing has happened (along the Pakistan border) in the last two days as well and ceasefire violation is always from their (Pakistan) side,” he said.
Lauding the role of ITBP in guarding the country’s border in high altitude areas, Singh said the government will provide all help for the welfare of the force and its personnel. (PTI)