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India to seal Indo-Pak border by 2018, monitoring framework to ensure this: Rajnath Singh

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that the India-Pakistan border will be sealed completely by December 2018.

The minister said the situation on the border would be continuously monitored. Rajnath Singh said a new concept, “Border Security Grid”, would be put in place after taking inputs from all border states. “Tension between India and Pakistan has increased, countrymen should trust security forces and stand by them,” said Singh.

“We will start a new concept called the Border Security Grid, inputs from all border states will be taken,” said Singh.

He was speaking after meeting the chief minister and home ministers of states that border Pakistan — Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat – to take stock of security arrangements.

“The nation’s security will never be compromised.”

It was, however, not clear which border Rajnath was speaking about. If the sealing happens along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan, it would leave out Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which Indians would construe as a defeat. If the border includes PoK, Pakistan could see it as an act of aggression.

Noting that tensions between India and Pakistan have increased, Singh said that the countrymen should trust security forces and stand by them.

He also mooted setting up a border security grid for which suggestions have been invited from all the concerned stakeholders including the states which share border with Pakistan.

“It is a new concept. We will be framing guidelines after getting suggestions from all stake holders,” Singh said.

The Home Minister said that the government was determined to completely seal the borders with Pakistan by December 2018 and added “this project will be periodically monitored by Home Secretary at the central level, BSF from the security forces perspective and Chief Secretaries at the state level.”

He said under the action plan of 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.

The “surgical strikes” have also ignited a political fight back home with opposition parties demanding proof and the BJP accusing them of dishonouring the army.

“Tension between India and Pakistan has increased, so we should be united and believe in our army,” Singh said, an apparent rebuke to opposition parties.

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