Monday, March 24, 2008

Border security including Setusamudram security in danger

Border security including Setusamudram security in danger

March 30, 2008

Border security in danger

The Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) wishes to draw the attention of the entire nation towards the porous nature of our borders and the concomitant threat looming from all sides. Of particularly serious concern is the situation along the Himalayas, which were once believed to be an insurmountable natural boundary. With large tracts including Aksai-chin in Laddakh and Kailash Mansarover, already under its occupation after it became our neighbour following its annexation of Tibet in 1959, China started making fresh claims over many more areas like Arunachal Pradesh making the border question a much more serious one calling for urgent attention.

The ABPS reminds the country of the recent statement by the Union External Affairs Minister in the Lok Sabha that the Chinese are making claims over 100,000 sq. km. area followed by the admission of senior Army officials about the repeated incursions by the Chinese Army in the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh. The ABPS commends the Members of Parliament in Lok Sabha and the people from that region for vigorously campaigning against these border violations thus drawing the attention of the political establishment as well as the entire nation.

The ABPS cautions that any complacent attitude in dealing with China on the border question would be fraught with serious consequences. It is most unfortunate that despite knowing the aggressionist and expansionist nature of China our negotiators have allowed ambiguous clauses like ‘populated and unpopulated areas’ etc. to be made into negotiable issues thus allowing that country to exploit maximum diplomatic advantage. The ABPS expresses satisfaction that owing to popular pressure our Government categorically reiterated that the entire Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of our country.

The ABPS calls upon the Government to follow up its declarations with concrete steps to secure our borders by immediately upgrading infrastructure facilities along our border with China. While the Chinese have built all-weather roads, wide railway network and high frequency communication systems all along their side of the border to serve strategic and military requirements we still lag behind on our side of the border in these matters.

The ABPS also demands that each and every post along China border be fully and strongly fortified so as to prevent any further incursions from the other side and to give a fitting reply in the event of border violations.

Porous nature of our land borders is a major cause of worry for the ABPS. Unchecked influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh is changing the demographic profile of a large number of districts along Bharat-Bangladesh border besides posing a serious threat to internal security all over the country. Bharat-Burma border along our North East too remains largely porous. Instances of foreigners trying to acquire land along our sensitive Western and Eastern borders have also come to light. The ABPS calls upon the Government to do all the needful ensuring that these borders are properly sealed by way of fencing, increasing number of border outposts, improving infrastructure along the borders and strengthening the presence of our forces there. There is need of creating special agency for border management as part of the Defence Ministry for effective implementation of these measures.

Instability in two important neighbours i.e. Pakistan and Nepal too is putting a lot of pressure on our border security. The ABPS welcomes the categorical assertion of our defence establishment against reducing troop presence in the troubled J&K State. With situation in Afghanistan too turning further volatile, our border along the LoC and the remaining western front needs strict vigil. Growing Maoist activity along Indo-Nepal border in hitherto untouched states like Uttarakhand must be addressed with greater seriousness and urgency.

The ABPS notes with wariness the increasing militarisation of the seas to our South. Indian Ocean is fast turning into the future battle field. Our coastline is also not protected adequately enabling smuggling of weapons etc. into our country. Added concern for our country is the proposed Sethu Samudram Channel Project that would, if allowed to continue, increase the threat potential to our South-Eastern coastline by opening a passage from Bay of Bengal in to Palk Bay and to the defence establishments situated on the East coast as certain countries are disputing the status of the Historic Waters of Bharat and Sri Lanka. The ABPS insists that the Government, especially after the statement by our Defence Minister about the impending threats from the seas, should take immediate steps to properly secure our sea front also.

In the joint sessions of the Parliament, it was unanimously resolved once on November 14, 1962 and again on February 22, 1994 to get back every inch of land under the occupation of China and Pakistan respectively. The ABPS calls upon the Government, all political parties and the people of our great country to reiterate in unequivocal terms that each and every inch of our Motherland is absolutely sacred and it is our paramount duty to protect it against aggressionist and terrorist neighbours and thereby fulfill those solemn resolutions of the Parliament.

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