Srinagar: On his maiden visit to Kashmir as Defence Minister, Arun Jaitley on Saturday said India’s armed forces are “capable of responding to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control by Pakistan.”
Jaitley, who arrived here on a two-day visit to the state, said he will review security-related matters with the state government and officers involved in the security grid.
Asked about firing at the LoC, including the one ahead of his visit, the Defence Minister said, “Our forces are capable of responding to it.”
Jaitley was speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan, where he will be staying overnight.
He later discussed the security scenario in the state in separate meetings with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and top army officials.
Jaitley, who is accompanied by Army Chief General Bikram Singh, was briefed by local army officers about the security situation along the LoC and the counterinsurgency operations in the hinterland.
“The Defence Minister visited Headquarters of Chinar Corps where he was given a comprehensive briefing on overall security situation in the Kashmir Valley including the counter-infiltration grid along the LoC and counter-terrorism grid in the hinterland,” an army spokesman said in a statement.
Later in the day, Omar called on the Defence Minister during which the two leaders discussed the prevailing security scenario in the state.
“Had a very productive meeting with Arun Jaitley in Srinagar this afternoon. Discussed matters related to both defence and finance with him,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
After the meeting, an official spokesman said the two leaders discussed the current situation on the LoC during the hour-long meeting.
“Matters relating to preparedness of the state government to conduct upcoming Amarnath Yatra smoothly also came up for discussion,” he said.
The Chief Minister shared with Jaitley, who is also Union Finance Minister, certain financial matters relating to the development plan of Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said.
He said aspects regarding skill development initiatives taken by the state government also came up for discussion.
The Defence Minister is scheduled to visit forward areas along the Line of Control tomorrow and will interact with commanders and troops, the spokesman said.
He said Jaitley is also scheduled to attend special Unified Headquarters Meeting here Sunday which will be attended by top officials of the civil administration, police, army and paramilitary forces. (with inputs from PTI)