Punjab border villagers refuse to vacate homes

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel stand guard along the international border as security beefs up amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan, at Attari near Amritsar, Thursday. PTI photo

As deployment of additional troops on the international border with Pakistan in Punjab continues, villagers in the Attari, Pathankot and other border zones say they will not vacate their villages even in the extreme state if war breaks out.

Farmers in many villages close to the Punjab-Pakistan border went to their fields as usual crossing the barbed fences. They maintained they will be there with the Army and the Border Security Force to provide all possibly civilian aid to the forces on the border.
Attari alone has some 35 villages falling in the border belt with Pakistan. Sarpanch of Gharindi village in the area, Sarbjit Singh, said these villages have a history of braving the enemy and will not be cowed down by any threat from across the border. The border districts of Punjab have faced the burnt of war with Pakistan in 1965, 1971. 
Amid the escalating tension, over three dozen Pakistani nations were provided a safe exit to their country from the Attari-Wagha border in Punjab on Thursday. The inter-nation peace train Samjhauta Express that was supposed to ferry Pakistan nationals back home was cancelled for the second day today.
These stranded passengers were on Thursday transported by roadways from the national capital to the Attari border from where they were moved in a bus under police protection and ferried to the Pakistani side via the international check post. 
Punjab, meanwhile, is fully prepared to deal with any exigencies that may arise out of the escalating tension between the two warring nations. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday visited various forward border areas and interacted with natives. The government said it was a confidence-building measure on its part. Capt held high-level meetings with officials of the civil and para-military officials to take stock of the situation. 
Border districts are on high alert and the state government has initiated a spate of measures as part of the state’s preparedness to deal with any contingency. The government has said there is no immediate move to evacuate residents from border villages. 

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Punjab border villagers refuse to vacate homes


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