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Def Min assures borders with Pak safe despite emergency

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Posted online:2007-11-12 00:00:00+05:30
Updated:2007-11-12 13:18:02.642197+05:30

Kozhikode, November 12:Centre is constantly monitoring the developments in Pakistan and taking necessary steps to protect the borders, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Monday.

"In view of the ongoing developments in Pakistan, we are taking certain precautionary measures like tightening the security along the border and Line of Control, though the situation there is now peaceful," Antony told reporters in Kozhikode.

Terming the latest developments in the neighbouring country as their "internal matter", Antony said India he was hopeful that the "transition" would be peaceful there.

Although some attempts of infiltration by militants were being made at the borders, the situation was "by and large peaceful", he said adding for the last three years there was no exchange of fire in the border areas of the two nations.

"We are confident that the situation will continue to remain so, notwithstanding the developments there," he added.

The Centre was planning to tighten security in coastal areas of the country, Antony said.

"Coastal police stations will be set up in these areas to curb activities like arms smuggling," he said.

While the state governments would provide security along the coastal areas, Coast Guard and Navy would train the police in maintaining a strict vigil, he added.

Describing the developments in Nandigram in West Bengal an "unfortunate", Antony said the Left Government there should ensure restoration of peace and initiate action against those responsible for the incidents.

On the demand for allowing more foreign airlines to operate from the Karipur international airport in Kozhikode, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been apprised of the matter and steps were on to meet the requirements of the passengers, particularly those travelling in the Gulf sector.

"Very soon you can expect private airlines operating from the Karipur airport," he said, adding national carrier Air India had also been asked to avoid frequent cancellation of flights thereby putting passengers in hardship.

The Defence Ministry had already given its clearance to start a new airport at Kannur, he added.

On the Sachar committee report, Antony said that the Centre was keen to implement the recommendations to benefit the minorities.

"Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC President Sonia Gandhi are keen to ensure the implementation of the Sachar report', he said.

Steps were underway to ensure that the report was put into action without delay, he added.

Earlier, Antony gave away the annual `Ankanam Sahitya Award' to young writer, Indu Menon.

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