Jaitley takes swing at Pak., urges optimum defence preparedness for India

| Updated: May 29, 2017 00:06 IST

Chitradurga (Karnataka) [India], May 28 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, in a veiled reference to Pakistan, has said India's defence preparedness needs to be enhanced to the optimum level, owing to its geographical location. "India is a country which is geographically located in a region which isn't free from trouble. We have a neighbour, who, for almost seven decades, has perpetuated a security threat as far as India is concerned," said Jaitley while inaugurating the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) here at Challakere, about 250 km from Bengaluru. Addressing the gathering, Jaitley threw light on the importance of creating such facilities which will go a long way in ensuring national security. "Such facilities create an ecosystem to promote the desire for research and further progress. The government has been leaning towards a policy to create optimal facilities in India. For the same, an area with low human habitation is necessary to carry out test launches," said Jaitley. The Defence Minister's statement comes in the wake of a string of infiltration and ceasefire violations that have been carried out by Pakistan in the past few months. In its most recent attempt, the Pakistan Army on Sunday shot dead a civilian and injured another in Keran Sector of Kupwara district near Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, after the body of one intruder was recovered as the Indian Army foiled another infiltration attempt by Pakistan in Poonch area. Last week, the army also foiled an infiltration bid by terrorists along the LoC in the Naugam Sector. To this regard, Jaitley while lauding the soldiers said terrorism from across the border is aimed against India and its sovereignty. In the recent days, ceasefire violation along the LoC by Pakistan has increased considerably. On May 14, the Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars along the LoC in Chiti Bakri area of Rajouri Sector in Jammu and Kashmir. On May 13, Pakistani troops pounded civilian areas and forward posts in Nowshera area with mortars, killing two civilians and injuring three. Prior to this, Pakistan's atrocity was highlighted in its un-soldierly act of mutilation of two Indian soldiers in an unprovoked Rocket and Mortar firing on two forward posts on the line of control in Krishna Ghati Sector. Simultaneously, a BAT action was launched on a patrol operating in between the two posts. The Centre has received flak from the opposition since then for not deploying a full-time Defence Minister. To this regard, Congress leader Kapil Sibal had, in a press conference, said "After the horrifying surgical strike that took place months ago, we thought that India will not face any such attacks but our hopes are all shattered. Only a full time defence minister can create a full time strategy towards growth and security." (ANI)