India laser beams Pakistan border
An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols near the fenced border with Pakistan Mukesh Gupta/Reuters file photo

The Indian government has said that it will seal the entire border it shares with Pakistan by the end of 2018. The decision was announced after federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with top representatives of four states – Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab – that border Pakistan.

By December 2018, the India-Pakistan border, which is almost 2,900km long, would be insulated as part of the security measures. However, Singh said they are still working on the specifics of the security grid and other operational measures.

Addressing reporters on Friday (7 October) after holding discussions with representatives of the four states, Singh said: "The action plan will be frequently monitored at multiple levels to ensure we do not miss the deadline. It would be monitored not only by the security agencies but also the chief secretaries of the four states. A monitory framework would be prepared for monthly, quarterly and annual review of the implementation of the action plan."

Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in recent weeks over a series of confrontations in restive border areas. The two countries have also been involved in a fierce verbal battle over cross-border encounters since a militant attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir.

Besides the existing security measures, Singh said: "The proposed security grid is a new concept, which needs to be given a final shape. The Centre will issue a notification about it later. All lapses will be monitored not just by the Army but even by chief secretaries of the various bordering states. Complaints will be adhered to in time."

All the four bordering states have been placed on high alert following intelligence reports of a possible attack. Security has also been heightened at 22 airports in northern Indian states.