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Indian Army objects over govt plan of embankments along Working Boundary

NEW DELHI: Indian Army has objected over the government’s plan of building embankments along the working boundary with Pakistan in Jammu, calling it an obstruction to its movement, an Indian newspaper report said.

The Hindu said that National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval is grappling with a face-off between the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the army.

“The army has objected to the government’s plan to build a raised embankment along the 179-km stretch of the international border (IB) in Jammu district,” a senior Home Ministry official told The Hindu.

This is the same project over which Pakistan complained to the UN Security Council a few days ago, the paper said.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi, in a letter to the President of the Security Council complained that India was planning to construct a wall along the Working Boundary, to convert it “into a quasi international border”.

“The army believes that in case of an emergency, this embankment will affect their operations and restrict their forward movement. The army already mans another embankment, a few kilometres behind the IB,” the paper quoted a senior the MHA official as saying.

Around 20 per cent land has been acquired for the project, being implemented by the MHA. The raised embankment will be constructed under the supervision of the Border Security Force (BSF).

However, at a recent meeting between Army Chief General Dalbir Singh and Mr Doval, the government has been asked to rethink the entire project, the paper said.

Another official said the BSF had also been asked to submit a detailed report on why the project should go ahead.

A final decision will be taken by the Prime Minister’s Office and the proposal is pending with the Cabinet Committee on Security.

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