Credits J&K police, claims stone-throwers rescuing militants have gone down in number
NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday that militants in Kashmir were on the run now, and the government’s priority was to wipe them out.
He said that terrorists in Kashmir were “now under great pressure” and the financial crunch caused by demonetisation and the action taken by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on foreign funding had checked illegal activities on a large scale.
Jaitley, who was participating in a television programme, said, “Today no big militant can dream of committing terror acts and continue to terrorise the Valley for decades. Their shelf life has dwindled to a few months. I will specifically praise the Jammu & Kashmir Police for working hard (towards eliminating militants).”
Jaitley said that India faced two serious threats – one in Jammu and Kashmir and the second being Left-Wing Extremism in the central parts of the country.
“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 conventional war. The wars of 1965, 1971 and Kargil clearly proved this,” he said.
“There is domination of our forces on the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border. It is difficult for terrorists to cross them,” he said at the India TV Conclave, ‘Vande Mataram’.
Jaitley said the Indian forces were dominating the border with the help of technological tools. “After surgical strikes in September last year, our forces are liquidating militants,” he said.
The defence minister said that there was a concerted move by security forces to clean up the Valley of armed militants.
He said the number of people coming to the rescue of militants had gone down. “Whenever there was an encounter, hundreds and thousands would come out to throw stones. Many a time terrorists would escape under the protection of stone throwers. This is now becoming history. Those who were coming in hundreds and thousands, today their number is limited to 20, 30 and 50. For the first time in history, we have seen that they (militants) have started looting banks,” he said.
Jaitley said the terrorists were under tremendous pressure. “They are on the run. Their number is also declining. Security forces are dominating them,” he said.
He said India is by and large free from the threat of the ISIS. “There may be some isolated or exceptional incidents but there has been no influence in India,” he said.
The defence minister expressed concern over some instances of glorifying the acts of terrorists or Maoists.
Referring to the shouting of anti-India slogans by some in Jawaharlal Nehru University last year, he expressed concern over the association of mainstream political parties with those raising such slogans.
Jaitley said a disturbing trend is coming up where efforts are being made to show the Indian state as helpless.