Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday maintained that his government’s priority was to clean up the Kashmir Valley of armed militants, insisting that they are under tremendous pressure and that they cannot continue to terrorise the people for decades. “They are on the run. Their number is also declining. Security forces are dominating them,” Jaitley said during a television programme.
The minister also mentioned that demonetisation has impacted terror funding significantly and that the action taken by the National Investigation Agency on illegal foreign fundings has checked subversive activities in militancy-hit state.
“Today no big militant can dream of committing terror acts and continue to terrorise the Valley for decades, but today their life shelf has dwindled to a few months. I will specifically praise the Jammu & Kashmir police for working hard (towards eliminating terrorists),” Jaitley stated.
However, he refrained from making any comment on the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in the Sikkim sector near the Bhutan trijunction. He said, “let us have full faith in our security forces”.
Jaitley asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India, and said India has proved time and again of her military prowess in 1965, 1971 and Kargil war. “Since independence, Pakistan has never agreed that Kashmir is an integral part of India. That has been their unfinished agenda. They tried conventional war. But India’s capability was way ahead in the conventional war. The wars of 1965, 1971 and Kargil clearly proved this,” he said.
He added that terrorists are finding it difficult to infiltrate into India due to the domination of Indian forces on the Line of Control and the international border.
Commenting on India’s defence production, Jaitley said his government was committed to bolstering domestic production for the defense sector. “We want India to become a global power in defence manufacturing sector, and towards that end, we are encouraging private players to come forward. We will, of course, also continue to strengthen our ordnance factories and defence PSUs,” the minister said.