India is not constructing a wall along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir as charged by Pakistan, BSF IG Rakesh Sharma said on Tuesday, dismissing the claim as a baseless “story.”
He said it was not possible to construct a wall along the IB keeping in view the topography of the area where the IB is situated.
“This is a story created by Pakistan. There is no wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir”, Mr. Sharma said.
The IG said it was a confusion being created by Pakistani side.
“It is a confusion that is being created by the Pakistani side as there is no such wall being constructed on the IB in Jammu and Kashmir”, Mr. Sharma said.
“How can it be constructed and the wall as you know the topographic conditions of the border, it is just not possible to construct a wall”, he said.
Pakistan has last week complained to UN Security Council, alleging that India was building a wall along the International Border in violation of the world body’s resolutions.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi, has in a letter to President of the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, alleged that India was planning to construct a 10-meter high and 135-feet wide embankment (wall) along the 197-km Working Boundary between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
The planned wall, according to Pakistan, was to convert the IB “into a quasi international border.”
Asked whether a wall would help check cross border infiltration, Sharma said, “No, I really cannot say what would be the solution — whatever measures (to check infiltration) are being required to be taken on ground, we are doing that.”
Asked as to why Pakistan was making up the story of a wall being constructed along IB, Mr. Sharma said, “I am also surprised about the wall theory — there is nothing on the ground and it seems to be a story only”.
The BSF IG said the fortification of the already existing fence on the IB was an ongoing process because the fence is subjected to the vagaries of nature.
“See the repair and upgradation of the border fence is an ongoing process. At several places the fence gets washed away when there is a flood so we have to repair it”, he said.
When asked to comment on the recently held Director General (DG) level talks with Pakistan, Sharma said, “It (situation along IB) appears to be peaceful as of now and both the sides are maintaining peace on the border and let us see how things move ahead.”
On the issue of number of militants waiting across the border to cross into Indian side, he said, “I really cannot say at this point of time, but I am very sure that Pakistan must respond to the promises made during the meeting and they will not allow any infiltration to happen through the IB and we are also watchful and guardful.”
On the issues that were taken during the DG level talks, IG BSF said, “As I told earlier also the meeting was in an absolutely cordial atmosphere and both the sides took all the issues that were to be discussed in the meeting and our DG also took up all the issues that were on hand“.
He expressed hope that both the sides would abide by the issues and promises made during the meeting.
“We are very hopeful that all those issues which were discussed will find solution and both the sides will go by the rules that were set up in the agenda (during the meeting)”, he said.