Defend India's borders with all your might: Jaitley to forces
New Delhi: In the backdrop of rising cross border terror activities in Kashmir and standoff with China in Dokalam, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday called upon the armed forces to defend the country's borders with "all its might". In a strong message to Pakistan, he asked it to refrain from continuing with "abhorrent acts" of terrorism against India and reminded Islamabad of the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on September 29 last year on terror launch pads.
He said "significant casualties" were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them in the surgical strikes.
While referring to contributions of countless patriots in India's freedom struggle, Jaitley without directly referring to any country, said the nation now looks at the armed forces to defend its borders.
"The nation now looks to you to defend its borders with all your might and to the best of your strength and abilities so that all our people sleep in peace tonight, so that we all see a new dawn together, tomorrow and to take our country to new heights of peace and prosperity for all our people," he said. The comments assumed significance as armies of India and China are locked in a face-off in Dokalam for the past eight weeks.
The defence minister was addressing the armed forces personnel in a customary radio broadcast on the eve of the 71st Independence Day.
Referring to cross border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said the armed forces personnel continue to be vigilant on the Line of Control in defending the nation as "our adversary continues with its abhorrent acts".
"Despite our repeated requests to our Western neighbour not to use our territory occupied by it not only to train terrorists but also use it as launch pad for pushing these militants into India, such nefarious activities continued," he said.
Jaitley said India ran out of patience as these terrorists were not only targeting the armed forces but also civilians and based on credible inputs, the Indian Army had conducted surgical strikes on September 29 last year at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists.
"The operations were focused on ensuring that these terrorists did not succeed in their design to cause destruction and endanger the lives of our citizens. During these counter terrorist operations significant casualties were caused to terrorists and those providing support to them," he said.