‘Pakistan wants to keep the issue of J&K alive by doing mischief. Ceasefire violations don’t take place in Punjab and Rajasthan. We never initiate aggression, nor target civilians, we are only retaliatory’, said Director General BSF KK Sharma. At the same time he assured that with adequate weaponry our borders are secure and emphasized ‘we are operationally fully prepared to face any challenge’.
Speaking on ‘Op Arjun’ to a select group of journalists at IAFAC, Sharma said, ‘Pakistan initiated action on August 8 in which 1 jawan was killed’. A talk with his Pakistani counterpart on August 23 and 28 assured him that the former will take care that such things don’t happen. Pakistan targets civilians with a purpose at the borders and so our vulnerability is more, he said.
On Rohingya’s entering India, Sharma said, ‘Our policy is to stop any infilteration without discrimination. We have identified vulnerable borders and redeployed force with modern gadgets. We are able to identify Rohingya’s by their dialect. Rohingya’s act as guides to facilitate militants cross borders. He said that about 200 Rohingya’s have entered India in a period of last 2 years. The number of 40,000 have been deduced for over a decade.
Sharma emphasized that future lies in increasing use of technology. ‘A ‘Comprehensive & Integrated Border Management system‘ is in process for modernizing border guarding which will integrate gadgets with technology and give advance warnings and facilitate quick response system’.
Talking about eastern borders with Bangladesh, Sharma informed that as the border was porous because of riverine and nallahs, infiltrations was easy. ‘Difference between western and eastern borders is that though western borders are hostile, eastern borders are challenging due to a friendly neighbor, Bangladesh. Our men face challenges like smuggling, ethnicity on the border, illegal cattle trade which have been brought down by the border force considerably’.
Sharma stressed upon the need of welfare activities for BSF jawans and the actions taken upon them after he took over including skill training for jawans and their wards, free online coaching for their children for competitive exams, holding medical camps, spreading financial literacy, Yoga, communication in remote areas.
It is to be noted that BSF is the largest Border Guarding Force of the world having the strength of a quarter of a million bordermen protecting the International Borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.