'India has to watch out for neighbours'

Minister asks forces to defend independence

“ In this troubled neighbourhood, there are countries with governments that are extremely fragile. All this increases the level of threat to our security and our independence. We therefore call upon all our security forces to defend our independence, our sovereignty and our security,” Chidambaram said at an investiture ceremony of the Border Security Force (BSF) here.

“We live in perhaps the most troubled neighbourhood in the world,” the home minister said.
Chidambaram’s statement comes at a time when India and Pakistan have traded hot words following al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s killing by US Navy Seals.

Without mentioning Pakistan , Chidambaram  said: “We therefore call upon all our security forces to defend our Independence, our sovereignty and our security.”

He also asked the central force, which has deployed about ten battalions (10,000 personnel) for anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, to undertake “intelligence-based operations with minimum collateral damage” and supplement its work through a number of civic action programmes for the population in these areas.

“We have done a lot in the last two-and-a half years. We provided them (central forces) more money than ever before, we brought more equipment in the last two-and-a-half years and we continue to buy equipment.  We have provided better training in the last two-and-a-half years and we continue to expand our training,” he said.

Border Security force (BSF) guards country along the Pakistan and Bangladesh borders and also acts as a counter-insurgency force. BSF has been replaced by CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir as a counter-insurgency force.

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