India shares thousands of miles of unsettled  borders with its neighbours. It also has belligerent neighbours who who love to needle India continuously. They are aware of the absence of a National Security Policy in this country, and the weakness of the political class in statesmanship. Incursions have been taking place regularly and the government is unwilling to face the problem squarely.

Extracts from a news report:

     WHEN HE smiled and shook hands with Chinese Army officers across the barbed wire that marks the line of actual control between the two nations on Sunday, Defence Minister A.K. Antony couldn’t have missed the black tar road on the other side.

     He chose to call his visit “an eyeopener”, referring to the roads and facilities the Chinses have built on their side of the border. India needs to dramatically improve its road networks in border areas if it is to keep up with developments on the Chinese side, Antony – the first Defence Minister to visit the LAC here since trade through the pass resumed in July last year, after 44 years – said.

     “Infrastructure on the other side is far, far superior,” he added. Posing for photographers from the media on the Indian side and officers and soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army on the Chinese side, Antony said:

     “I am happy now that I have got to know the situation. I will vigorously champion the cause of developing infrastructure. We need to develop infrastructure not only for the army but also for the civilian population. We have to take it up seriously” On resumption of trade through Nathu La, he said: “The idea is to increase this gradually I hope in the years to come, more and more items will be included for trade. People of both sides will benefit from it.

     But before that, we have to develop our infrastructure.” Border trade closed for the winter last Thursday During Antony’s visit, Brigadier S.L. Narasimhan, commander of the 63 Brigade that is tasked with guarding Nathu La, briefed him on the ground situation on the border .

     The minister also met Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor

 jatin.gandhi@hindustantimes.com

Poor Infrastructure At The Border

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