Asserting Pakistan was not “mending its ways”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today sent out a strong message to it over the continuing spate of unprovoked firing incidents along the border saying the government will never seek answers from Indian forces on “how they chose to retaliate” to such actions. Delivering the keynote speech at the Border Security Forces’ 16th investiture ceremony here, he said, without naming Pakistan, that it was an “irony” that despite India wanting peace with its neighbours, a particular country was not “mending its ways.” “This (Pakistan’s acts) can be a subject of research and these activities of the neighbour are hard to understand,” Singh said.
He said that while the government has directed the Border Security Force (BSF) and other forces on the border like the army to never fire the first bullet, “no one will ask them how they chose to retaliate”. “If you (the BSF) are fired upon, then you have to decide what is the best course of reaction or action. You have done this with remarkable responsibility in the past,” the minister told the personnel of the border guarding force. He reiterated that the force was giving a “befitting reply” to these unprovoked incidents, especially those taking place along the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in the Jammu region for the last few days.
So far, seven persons including two BSF jawans and an infant have been killed and 18 others injured in the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the Jammu region. Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a spurt in Pakistani shelling and firing along the IB and the LoC this year with over 700 such incidents being reported this year, which have left a total of 39 people, including 18 security personnel, dead and scores injured.
The home minister said the Modi government’s ambitious plan to completely seal its borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh using technology gadgets and ‘smart fences’ is a “work in progress.” “In few months, the work should get completed,” he said. We are a peace loving country and want cordial relations with all the countries including our neighbours, he said addding India gave to the world the concept of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ or ‘the world is one family’.
The minister called the BSF as the ‘first wall of defence’ on the borders and said the troops of the force, owing to their valour and courage, have ensured that the Indian frontiers are safe under them. Singh added that nothing can be “supreme” than the fact that a soldier lays down his life for the nation and everyone should ensure that the troops have high morale all the times. He added that his government, from early this year, has started providing the operational casualty certificate to the families of those Central Armed Police Forces personnel who are killed in the line of duty. The defence forces also give the families of their killed troops such a certificate.