Asserting that the situation in Kashmir is “better than is being perceived”, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused Pakistan of scuttling the environment for possibilities of bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. Jaitley said that while India had taken “significant steps” towards easing tensions between the two, Pakistan had responded by carrying out terror attacks at Pathankot and Uri among other incidents.
“The Government of India has taken significant steps to ease the situation in the past… The fact that our Prime Minister dropped in at Lahore at a social function in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, were all steps intended to ease the tension. But each one of these have been responded by, let us say, a Pathankot or a Uri or by mutilation of two of our soldiers. And, therefore, that environment which must exist for a talk has been successfully prevented by Pakistan,” Jaitley said addressing the media on completion of three years of the BJP-led NDA government.
Jaitley said that irrespective of where unrest was being created by insurgents or militants in Kashmir, the Indian Army and the BSF were ‘dominating’ the Line of Control (LoC).
“The security forces have been able to build up a lot of pressure on them, and the results, some of which are evident almost on a daily basis… The situation in Kashmir is better than the impression,” he said.
Last week, days after two Indian Army jawans were reportedly beheaded, the Indian Army had announced that it had launched punitive fire assaults on Pakistani positions across the LoC. A video of the operation was released by the army which showed some structures crumbling under the impact of the shelling.
Jaitley added that the situation in South Kashmir was ‘challenging’, but said that the situation elsewhere in the state was normal.