Millennium Post

Antony says ceasefire violations along LoC on Pakistan Army's 'tacit support'

'We are watching all these new developments. Instead of preventing infiltration or trying to minimise the infiltration attempts, still there attempts are going on increasing. That means, these are going on with the support of elements across the border. But I am sure nothing has happened without the support and knowledge and tacit support of Pakistan Army. It is a matter of concern to us,' he said addressing a press conference.

The Defence Minister wondered how such attempts can take place without the support or knowledge of the armed forces of Pakistan when the international border is guarded on one side by Indian Army and BSF and Pakistan Army and Rangers on the other.

'Both sides of borders are completely guarded by armed forces. So how can the terrorists try to infiltrate in Indian border without the support or knowledge of armed forces of Pakistan.

'How can terrorists embolden to increase the attempts to infiltrate with the tacit support and sometimes open support of the Pakistani Armed forces,' he asked.

'That is a question that is worrying us,' he said.

Antony said India has been saying that it is sincere in improving relations with Pakistan, but questioned how this can happen when infiltration is taking place.

Asked to comment on the criticism of Defence Ministry's China and Pakistan policy, Antony said there was no question of mixing politics with defence.

Asked if the deals for procuring 197 choppers for the Army and the IAF and 145 ultra light howitzers for the Army could be scrapped, the Minister said the government did not interfere in procurement procedures and will not set deadlines for their acquisition.

He said in the last three years, the armed forces have been provided a number of equipment by the Government and all possible equipment would be bought for their further modernisation.

Antony said Indian armed forces were rated very high in the world and major global forces from all parts of the world were eager to have cooperation with them.

He said the Government will not be found wanting on the issue of developing border infrastructure.

Addressing the IDSA conference on South Asia, the Defence Minister said despite sharing commonalities of history, geography and culture, 'South Asia was one of the least integrated regions of the world. Its share in world economy is quite small. This often leads to misunderstandings.'

Antony said India's natural predominance is often viewed with concern by some states and 'such concerns about Indian intentions are far from real and often misplaced. Over the years, India has assumed a responsibility to improve its relationship with neighbours.'

He said over the years, India has assumed a responsibility to improve its relationship with neighbours.

'However, its relationship with some other countries continues to be problematic.'

He asserted that India was committed to further improve it ties and maintain peace and friendly relations with all its neighbours.
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