BASHOLI: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said the Centre has achieved success in reducing the influence of terror outfit Islamic State (IS) among Indian youth. "We are trying to reduce the numbers (of youths getting attracted towards the ideology of the IS) and we have achieved success in it," Parrikar said when asked about influence of the IS on the Indian youth.
He was talking to reporters after inaugurating the first cable-stayed bridge on Ravi river at Basholi in Kathua district situated on Dunera-Basholi-Bhadharwah road. On a query related to alleged involvement of army personnel in a suspected espionage case involving Pakistan's spy agency ISI, he said "we had to tighten the security (intelligence) which we have already done".
In the light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two day visit to Russia and the impending defence deal, Parrikar said that India's relationship with Russia is not new. "We have never been away from Russia. Our relationship with Russia on the old contracts (Defence) were already there. Though new contracts were less but now they are taken care of," the Defence Minister said.
While speaking at the function, he also said that this year the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completely come under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its efficiency has increased.
"Earlier it was under Ministry of Surface Transport but from this year, it has come completely under MoD. Now we don't need to go to other ministries to seek funds," he said. "This is the first BRO project that was finished before time," Parrikar added.
The Defence Minister said new and modern technology was being adopted in the construction of roads and tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir with 20-25 tunnels in the pipeline and a survey to be conducted on the Bhaderwah tunnel as well.
Parrikar said the need of the hour was to provide 12 months connectivity to the areas affected by snowfall in winters. Apart from meeting demands of the people, these new routes would be of strategic importance too, he said.
"These new routes can also help in the fast induction of the Army besides helping developing these areas," he said.