‘Pakistan does not seem interested in improving ties,’ says Rajnath Singh

“The government has adopted a humane approach towards migrants, whether they are from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh. We have sympathies for them, but we are strongly against illegal immigrants,’’ Singh said.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: September 13, 2017 2:45 am
Union Minister Jitendra Singh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and J&K Deputy CM Nirmal Singh in Jammu on Tuesday. (Photo: PTI)

A DAY after issuing a stern warning to Pakistan for frequent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the neighbouring country does not seem interested in improving ties with India. “The way Pakistan is continuously violating ceasefire, I feel that it is not at all interested in improving ties with India,’’ he told mediapersons here. “I have noticed that since 2014, there have been more than 400 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan every year,’’ he added.

Pointing out that Pakistan will have to stop ceasefire violation, he said, “Our BSF and Army personnel are giving them a befitting reply and they will create such a situation that it (Pakistan) will have to stop these ceasefire violations today or tomorrow’’. The Home Minister’s remarks came shortly after a woman was injured in Nowshera sector in small arms fire from the Pakistan side on Monday night. Identified as Rehmat Bi of Pukharni, she was sleeping in the compound of her house when a bullet hit her in the thigh.

Describing border migrants as a “strategic asset’’ of the country for their continuous stay along the borders despite repeated incidents of mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan, Singh said their contribution in defending the borders cannot be ignored. All Indians are proud of them, he said, and added that the government has raised the ex-gratia payable to the next of kin of those who die or suffer more than 50 per cent disability in cross-border firing to Rs 5 lakh. The Home Minister added that 60 bunkers have been built for them in the border areas and many more were under construction.

The government, he said, has also decided to set up an expert group to study problems faced by people living along the Indo-Pak border. The group will look into how to properly utilise funds released under Border Area Development Programme and submit a report to the government, he added.

Rajnath also came down heavily on illegal immigrants to India, including Rohingyas. “The government has adopted a humane approach towards migrants, whether they are from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh. We have sympathies for them, but we are strongly against illegal immigrants,’’ he said. Asked about Rohingyas, he said they are illegal immigrants and the government does not rule out the security threat posed by them.

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