New Delhi: A day before Home Minister Rajnath Singh visits to Pakistan amidst threats of protest by LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, the BSF today said it was sure the Pak Rangers and other authorities there will take adequate measures to foil the plans of the terror mastermind.
Calling Saeed’s plans of undertaking massive protests and march towards the Attari-Wagah border when Singh steps on Pakistani soil a “political” move, Border Security Force chief K K Sharma said the border guarding forces on both sides have been “sensitised” and they will ensure that the SAARC Home Ministers meeting to be held tomorrow in Islamabad is not disrupted.
“This (Saeed’s protest call) is the internal matter of Pakistan and I am very sure that my counterparts Pak Rangers are more than competent to handle this issue. I am sure this (Saeed’s threat) is not going to disrupt the SAARC meeting. Hafiz Saeed will not be successful,” he said.
Sharma, who only last week returned from Pakistan after holding the annual bilateral Director General-level talks with the Rangers, said both the forces have also discussed measures to mount effective vigil at the Attari-Wagah border which is thronged by large crowds that witness the daily retreat ceremony in the evening.
A blast in 2014 at Wagah on the Pakistan side had killed over 50 people after the retreat ceremony got over.
“Yes, this was one issue that was taken up with Pak Rangers…Both of us are conscious of the fact that the threat is there and consequently we both have strengthened our security measures. We have done it on our side (of the border) and they have done it on their side. I am sure they (Rangers) will handle it (Saeed’s threat to march towards Wagah) well,” he said on the sidelines of an event here.
The BSF DG added at least four battalions of the force (about 4,000 personnel) have been recently deployed on the Punjab frontier and two in Jammu to further fortify security measures and the counter-infiltration grid along the Indo-Pak International Border (IB) running along the two states.
“The LoC in Kashmir is under army and I would not like to comment on that,” he said when asked about similar measures in this area.
Sharma said new equipment have been provided to the BSF troops guarding the border even as the intelligence gathering mechanism has been strengthened.
“I am happy to say that there has been no infiltration in the IB areas guarded by us in Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat in the last 8-10 months.
“The BSF in its area of responsibility is fully prepared against infiltration bids. We cannot stop them from occurring but can thwart them. We will not allow them (infiltrators) to succeed,” Sharma said.
The DG added it was important for them and the Rangers to keep talking.
“I feel it is always better to keep open the channels of communication because it is through talks only that we can sort out things,” he added.
About a proposal to install a high-mast Indian tricolour along the Attari-Wagah border front, the DG said the BSF was “for it” and developments are taking place on this front.
“Officially we have not taken it up with Pakistan. As per norms nothing can be created about 150 metres from the zero line at the border and this flag that will be installed is proposed to be further behind this. We support it fully and we welcome it,” he said
The DG added a land in possession of Punjab tourism board has been identified for the proposal.
DG Sharma said BSF will observe the remaining part of 2016 as the year of ‘Divyaang Yodha’ (specially-abled fighter) as he flagged off a para-cycling team that will paddle from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to Khardungla in Jammu and Kashmir between August 5 and 15.
“The aim of the event is to have psychological empowerment of the disabled persons to make them able to overcome their mental inhibitions and to start leading a normal life.
“A ‘Divyaang Yodha’ skill mission has been planned with a series of activities,” the force said in a statement.
The paramilitary has tied up with an NGO to build training expertise in this regard.