SRINAGAR: Satisfied over readiness of troops along Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said army will give adequate response to ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops and asserted that terrorism and militancy are both aimed against Indian state and its sovereignty and against the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I visited the LoC in North Kashmir today and interacted with the jawans and officials there. I would complement the Army for the level of their preparedness and enthusiasm. Our soldiers are fully confident that they would not allow any form of infiltration to take places in their areas from across the LoC,” Jaitley told reporters.
Accompanied by GoC of Baramulla-based Division, Maj Gen RP Kalita, the defence minister had visited forward areas along LoC in Rampur sector of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district and was briefed by senior commanders about security situation.
Jaitley asserted that if there is any effort at any form of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops, army will give an adequate response.
“The aggressive domination and readiness of troops for befitting response to any misadventure by enemy is very satisfying,” he said.
Jaitley, who was here to chair two-day GST council meeting, said it is clear that terrorism and militancy are both aimed against the Indian state and its sovereignty and also against people of J&K.
“The effect of their actions is that besides the security personnel, it is the local citizens who are losing their lives. So who have taken to violence of this magnitude will certainly be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
Asked whether central government distinguishes between good separatist and bad separatists the coin termed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Jaitley said, “For an average citizen, irrespective of his political views, we will like him to be on the Indian side on this debate. However, as far as those who are killing people, we can’t extend the same facilities to them. They have to be treated as a serious insurgency problem and have to be dealt accordingly.”
On TV expose about separatists receiving funding from Pakistan, Defence Minister said, “It was known that they were being funded from across the border, funded to create unrest, funded to burn schools, funded to kill people and destroy public property. Their actions were conspiracy not only against the Indian state but also the average resident of valley. It was all being talked about.”
“The report has almost brought out a confessional statement of the concerned players accepting it and I am sure that the concerned agencies of the government will take whatever action is needed in this matter,” he said.
On a question about dialogue with separatists, Jaitley said, “Our priority right now is to restore normalcy in Valley, especially in south Kashmir.”
“The roadmap is visible to everyone at the moment. There is a section that will have to be dealt with security measures and there is a section that will have to dealt by citizen-friendly measures and that is what we are trying to do,” he said.
On aspirations and sentiments of people of Kashmir, Jaitley said, “There are sentiments of people in every state in the country and the sentiment will have to be addressed. But at the end of the day, the current situation emerges because when you take to violence, when you take to arms, and you start killing security forces or your own people, then you unleash a cycle which doesn’t stop”.
“The aspirations will have to be addressed. They can be addressed only when the State has peace. You can’t have the energy of the state involved in just combating violence at various places. The resources, which are meant for the economic development of the people, are today being used essentially for security and who is to be blamed for that era of violence,” he said.
On taking of man as a human shield by an army in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on April 8, Defence Minister said, “We are already carrying out an investigation into the incident.”
“Let us not forget that Army is a responsible institution and the Army was also interested in saving the lives of various people, who were both involved in election process as also the large crowd of protestors who had gathered there,” he added.