SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State PMO Jitendra Singh Wednesday said India of 2017 was more equipped to deal with China than 1962.
“It was a matter of national security and Minister for Defence, Arun Jaitley had already placed on record that India of 2017 was different from India of 1962,” Singh said in response to a question by reporter during a joint press conference with Union MoS Home Hansraj Ahir, here.
He said India of 2017 is not that of India of 1962.
The minister said the country was more equipped today to deal with China than it was in 1962.
The minister's statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when Indian and Chinese troops are involved in stand-off in Sikkim. It is the longest stand-off between troops of two countries after 1962 war.
To a question on Pakistan, Singh, who is MP from J&K, said Pakistan was a hostile power.
He, however, said India was prepared to deal with what Pakistan was doing.
Lauds Kashmiri people for condemning yatra attack
The union minister praised people of Kashmir for condemning militant attack on Amarnath yatris.
“Nobody has been apologetic in condemning the killing of yatris. Civil society and other groups have strongly condemned the attack on yatris,” he said.
Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 19 injured in militant attack on their bus at Botengo in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday evening.
Singh said the attack was condemned by every section of society within and outside the State, which shows that there was no place for violence in the society.
Singh hailed the civil society members, people of state particularly Kashmiris for coming out and condemning the attack in unequivocal terms.
He said morale of civil society and people was so high that yatris were insistent that the pilgrimage should not be suspended even for a single moment.
The civil society, he said, has proved and vindicated the faith that India stands for.
He also acknowledged role of security forces in fighting militancy in the State. “We have the best forces of the world which are capable to giving befitting reply to enemies of humanity.”
Singh said the civil society cannot survive without the security forces. “The security forces also know that they have to restrain themselves during their duty while dealing with the situation. They have to restrain sometimes even at the risk of their own lives and jobs”.
Militancy in last phase
The MoS PMO said militancy in J&K was in its last phase.
He said the protracted phase of militancy and violence would finally meet its end.
“It is in last phase with decisive headway being made by security forces in last few weeks and months to combat militancy in the State. I am very optimistic that this militancy is going to outlive its life as we have seen happening in other parts of the country,” he said.
The minister was referring to killing of top Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen militants by security forces in the Valley recently.
Kashmiri youth want to be part of Modi’s development
Singh said youth of Kashmir was keen to be a part of developmental journey of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In last three years, Kashmiri youth have been availing new schemes like ‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’ wherein they get tax holidays and three-months exit period, he said.
Singh said in last three to four years, toppers of civil services were coming from Kashmir.
A youth from Anantnag last year secured second rank in IAS and now was in Rajasthan cadre, another Kashmiri youth was in Indian Forest Services, 12 more boys from J&K passed Indian Medical Academy exams, and 16,000 applications were received for 700 posts of sub inspectors, he said.
“So in the aspirational Kashmir, where is India versus Kashmir conclusion,” the MoS PMO said adding, “This is just prejudicial talk.”
About the failure of New Delhi in roping in Kashmiri youth who were being pushed toward militancy by atrocities committed by Jammu and Kashmir Police, troops and paramilitary forces, Singh said everything cannot be left to government.