“Our government is clear that terrorism or militancy that targets the Indian State and the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be dealt with sternly,” defence minister Arun Jaitley said today after a visit to the forward posts north of Uri.
Delivering this stern message after the LoC visit and in the backdrop of intense strife in the Valley in the recent past, the minister asserted that there was absolutely no scope for any dialogue with separatists any longer. Holding Pakistan-backed separatists responsible for provoking youth into relentless stone pelting and aggression towards the security forces, Jaitley said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen that the average citizen of the state batted on India’s side in the ongoing political debate. “Those who are killing people will be made to account for their actions,” he said.
The minister said, “The government has a clear roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir. Security measures for those who resort to violence and citizen friendly measures for other…our priority right now is to restore normalcy.” However, he pointed out, “You can't have the energy of the state involved in combating violence in various places. The resources which are meant for the economic development of people are today being used essentially for security. And who is to be blamed for unleashing that era of violence?”
Referring to separatists and their financial and logistical backing for fomenting trouble in the Valley, Mr Jaitley said that a TV sting story on such backing from Pakistan to Hurriyat leader was “as good as a confession” on their accepting funds from Islamabad. “They were funded to create unrest, they were funded to burn schools, they were funded to kill people and destroy public property. So, their actions were a conspiracy against not only Indian state but also the average resident of Kashmir Valley,” he said.
He pointed out that the sting had only brought out in the open what was always known in informed circles about Hurriyat leaders. “The revelations will be investigated,” he asserted, adding “probe agencies will also investigate the alleged hawala transactions of Hurriyat leaders and prove the accusations of illegal fund transfers. The money has been used to organise violence, burn schools and conspire against the people of Kashmir. The available information will now be thoroughly probed.”
The minister, who currently holds additional charge of defence, was shown the Indian Army’s infrastructure to prevent infiltration by Pakistanis at the LoC. “Our soldiers are confident of their preparedness in repulsing infiltration and responding adequately to ceasefire violations,” he said. “If there is any effort and any form of ceasefire violation our soldiers will give an adequate response to that.”