Jammu: Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti Sunday welcomed the Centre’s decision to start 'Beat the Retreat' ceremony at Suchetgarh on the India-Pakistan International Border (IB) in Jammu.
“Welcome GOI’s decision to start 'Beat the Retreat' ceremony at Suchetgarh. Will certainly give a flip to tourism and hope it is taken further by using it as a trade and travel route between Suchetgarh and Sialkot. Such CBMs improve cross border ties and benefit both sides economically too,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday had inaugurated the ‘Beating the Retreat’ parade ceremony at Octroi Border Outpost (BOP) on the IB in Suchetgarh, Jammu on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lieutenant Governor said, “The ceremony on the lines of Amritsar's Wagah border reflects the great legacy and valour of the Border Security Force, India's first line of defence.”
Sinha said: “India, as a great nation, believes in peaceful coexistence and its security forces were vigilantly protecting its territorial integrity of the nation and effectively countering the nefarious conspiracies of the neighbouring country. Describing it as a historic day for J&K, Sinha averred that on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversaries of Gandhiji and Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, Border Security Force made a new beginning that would ensure a massive push to the border tourism in J&K, besides putting Suchetgarh on the global tourism map.”
He said that this would also raise employment opportunities. “This should have happened long ago but it did not because of certain reasons. However it is happening due to strenuous efforts of the Centre,” the LG said.
Former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had envisaged and proposed the idea to develop Suchetgarh border on the lines of Wagah and Attari including holding ‘Beating the Retreat’ by soldiers from both sides. According to Special DG BSF HQ Western Command, N S Jamwal, the ceremony, on the lines of Wagah border, would be a regular weekly feature. However, this would not see participation from the Pakistan side.
Only BSF troops would participate in it. The programme is a part of Border Tourism Development Programme (BADP). To begin with the parade would be organised on two days in a week.