Lucknow/New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) In a strong message to Pakistan, both Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh Tuesday accused the country of waging a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir, and said India was taking action and the results will be visible soon.
The army chief, in a press conference, said Pakistan was supporting a proxy war against India in Jammu and Kashmir and the security challenges were growing due to the “active border”.
“Pakistan is supporting a proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties within their country. Recent strikes by terrorists reflect their desperation. It also indicates that the (terrorist) infrastructure or camps across the border are intact,” Gen. Dalbir Singh said.
Within hours of his statement, Defence Minister Parrikar said action was being taken, and assured of results in six months.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Parrikar said: “On proxy war, the government is very clear about what is happening.
“We have taken a stand and though I will not like to tell you what is the exact action we are taking… you will be able to see the difference in six months in actual figures,” he said.
The comments come in wake of repeated ceasefire violations, foiled terrorist infiltration bids, and terror attacks in India’s northernmost state.
The defence minister, meanwhile, said the difference was already visible and the number of terrorists being neutralised this year was “65 to 70 percent more than last year”.
The minister, however, emphasised that India wanted peace, but dialogue was not possible till violence stops.
“We want peace with our neighbours, but if there is an attempt for a proxy war, we will take some proactive steps. But, I can assure you that we will ensure that the enemy doesn’t show any interest in proxy war or the interest comes down,” he said.
On dialogue with Pakistan, Parrikar said: “If any dialogue has to be done with Pakistan, they should first stop ceasefire violation and intrusion of terrorists. If it does not stop, then dialogue alone will not bring a solution.”
The army chief, addressing a press conference ahead of Army Day, said the recent terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir showed that terrorist camps in Pakistan were intact.
Answering a query, he said ceasefire violations by Pakistan have shifted towards the international border (IB) in Jammu region from the Line of Control (LoC), as the counter-insurgency grid was very strong on the LoC.
He said there were streams and rivulets along the IB which the elements from across the border may try to use to infiltrate.
Gen. Dalbir Singh said military commanders have been given a free hand to retaliate to cross-border fire, except for human rights violations.
“Commanders have a free hand to operate, to retaliate in a manner they think is adequate,” he said.
Giving out figures of eliminated terrorists, Gen. Dalbir Singh said 110 militants were eliminated last year, of which 104 were done by the army. In comparison, 65 militants were killed in 2013.
He also said India may suffer from a “spillover effect from Afghanistan due to the evolving situation (there)”. He said it was “being watched carefully”.
The latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan came Monday night when Pakistan Rangers targeted Border Security Force (BSF) posts on the international border in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Jan 6, Pakistan had fired mortar shells and gunshots at over 60 villages and scores of forward posts in Kathua and Samba districts in continuing ceasefire violations.