Finally there is much respite in the entire border belt of Punjab after government reversed its nine-day-old orders of evacuation of village falling within ten kilometre range of international border with Pakistan following Indian Army's surgical strikes along LoC to avenge Uri terrorist attack.
A decision to this effect was conveyed by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Jaisalmer to the Punjab Dy. CM Sukhbir Badal during a meeting of Border States at Jaisalmer this afternoon.
The Centre had on September 29 asked the state to evacuate people residing in border villages, which included Ferozepur, Fazilka, Amritsar, Taran Tarn, Gurdaspur and Pathankot.
Earlier, in the wake of surgical strikes by Indian forces into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Centre had ordered evacuation of people from areas within ten kilometres of the Indo-Pak border. The evacuation had been ordered apprehending Pak reaction to surgical strikes. Since Pakistan chose to deny the surgical strikes, the chances of a Pakistani military reaction also disappeared.
Disclosing these developments, Punjab Chief Minister’s Advisor on National Affairs Mr. Harcharan Bains said that the Punjab government has decided to allow people to return to their homes in border areas.
Reacting to the recent development, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Captain Amarinder Singh said that reversal of evacuation orders from border villages by the government only vindicated his stand that it was not required.
Claiming that the evacuations orders had been ordered to create war hysteria for vested political interests by the Akali-BJP alliance he said, "Since the decision boomeranged on them, eventually they had to withdraw these".
However, he questioned that who would compensate for the losses and harassment suffered by the border villagers who were forced out of their homes to go homeless for all these days without any rhyme or reason?"
He said despite withdrawal of evacuation orders, he would still go ahead with his scheduled border tour and would spend a few days in villages situated along international border with Pakistan from October 10.