New Delhi: China and Pakistan will not let India utilise its resources until the country takes steps to secure borders effectively, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said on Thursday.
"India is not getting cooperation from Pakistan in border areas. Instead, the neighbouring country is creating trouble. We have to introduce modern technologies in securing our borders which are geographically diverse in nature," he said.
"China and Pakistan will not let us claim our own properties. We could not claim our share of the waters of the Brahmaputra river as we delayed utilising it."
"Mineral reserves in border areas must be utilised which we are unable to do due to the insecure borders. If we succeed in making use of these minerals and natural resources, I do not think our country will remain poor," Ahir said at a seminar on 'Border Management and Illicit Trade' organised by FICCI.
Ladakh has huge reserves of natural resources, including minerals, as after every 10 kilometres, mountains change their colour, he said.
"India has shown its might. The World has seen what is the difference between those talking too much and those talking less on the intervening night of September 28 and 29," he told reporters when asked about his reaction to the rhetoric from Pakistan in the wake of the surgical strikes across the LoC.
India has always tried to improve its ties with neighbouring countries as some tasks cannot be carried out through arms but through dialogue. But, Pakistan has created a lot of problem by indulging in drug-trafficking, Ahir said.
"Young population living in Punjab along Pakistan border has been troubled by Pakistan. This is a persistent challenge which needs to be tackled. Our neighbouring country does not want to see our youths flourish and progress," the minister said.
China had last month blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its "most expensive" hydro project which has caused concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian country.
Last year, China had operationalised the USD 1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India.
Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said illicit trade and smuggling of products impact India's economy and industries as well as safety and security of consumers.
"India faces a loss of nearly Rs 40,000 crore in taxes due to the illegal trade of just seven products. The actual loss figure can be much higher. Illegal cross-border activities harm the Indian economy," Singh said.
He said these smuggled products also pose serious a threat to the health of consumers.
On the occasion, FICCI Advisor Deep Chand, BSF DG KK Sharma and Dr AP Maheshwari, Additional DG BSF were also present.