Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has hailed the army as he underlined a relative peace on the Indo-Pakistan border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir that had remained volatile for much of the last two months.
At the concluding ceremony of the BJP’s Parivartan Yatra in Dehradun on Monday, Parrikar said “They (Pakistan) made few strikes after which since last 11 days no ceasefire violation has been reported on border.” He also condoled the death of the martyrs.
There have been over a hundred ceasefire violations since the Indian army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC on September 29.
While he reiterated that the army is capable of repulsing any threat to the country, Parrikar also said India does not want to go to war.
He said the Modi government has successfully implemented One Rank One Pension (OROP) in the country which has benefitted 98% of 25 lakh ex-servicemen.
“Some ex-servicemen have participated in World Wars, 1947-48 war. Their records are old or destroyed. We are working for such cases. The decision on Justice Reddy Committee will be out soon,” he said. The committee handed over the report to Parrikar on October 26 highlighting anomalies on implementation of OROP.
Army only employer in Uttarakhand?
Parikar took a swipe at the Congress government led by Harish Rawat, saying that they failed to provide employment opportunities to people of Uttarakhand, leaving them with only one option – to join the army. He said the government even failed to leverage tourism to generate employment.
“The state government hasn’t done anything to boost employment for its people. Devbhoomi which is driven by tourism has failed to create job opportunities in various sectors because of which youngsters have no other option than to join army,” he said.
He compared Uttarakhand with Goa where he served as chief minister from 2012 to 2014. He emphasized how his government generated employment from the tourism sector in his state where no one ever thought that BJP would get full majority.
“Goa was also ailing with corruption and illegal mining like Uttarakhand. But, after I did Parivartan Yatra, the party won with full majority in 2012. Tourism sector multiplied more than three times and youngsters managed to get employment through it,” he said.
Relaxation for army recruits in hill states
Parrikar said that central government is considering amending minimum height and education criteria for those in hilly states who want to join the army.
“I was told that the height of hill people is less and education is also weak. I promised people of this state that will work positively towards this issue. The centre government is working on its solution,” he said.