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Soldiers given free hand to tackle Pak mischief: J-K deputy CM

J-K deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said soldiers were given a free hand to “discipline Pakistan” along the international boundary.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2017 22:49 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
File photo of Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.
File photo of Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.(PTI Photo)

Soldiers were given a free hand to “discipline Pakistan” along the international boundary, Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh said on Thursday, underscoring the heightened Indian counteroffensive against cross-border attacks and insurgency.

His remarks at a function in Reasi town follow the National Investigation Agency’s recent raids on Kashmiri separatist leaders and efforts to choke funding from Pakistan for terrorist activities.

“The BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the state government of the PDP-BJP combine gave a clear message that those who want to spread terrorism and want to kill innocent people on Pakistan’s diktat will not be spared,” he said.

The 61-year-old BJP legislator for Billawar in the Jammu region quoted the defence minister that there would be “no soft-hand approach” to any Pakistani mischief on the border.

“India in unequivocal terms made it clear to Pakistan that they will be paid back in the same coin and even more. Infiltration attempts by armed terrorists are being repulsed with full might,” Singh said.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley highlighted a week ago in New Delhi that Indian soldiers were in a commanding position along the Line of Control, the de-facto India-Pakistan border in Kashmir.

Cross-border skirmishes have escalated along the volatile LoC and Pakistani mortar shelling and heavy machine gunfire targeting frontier posts and villages are seen as a strategy to push militants into the region fighting more than three decades of insurgency.

The army has defended its positions effectively and said on Thursday that multiple attempts by militants to sneak though the LoC were foiled in the past 48 hours.

According to the Udhampur-based Northern Command, such attempts were made at the Gurez, Machhil, Naugam and Uri sectors. Seven militants were killed and a large quantity of arms and ammunition were found on them.

This year, 22 infiltration attempts were foiled and 34 “intruders eliminated” on the LoC, it said.

The deputy chief minister saw a link between the Machil gunfight and the Amarnath Yatra, saying the four slain militants were probably on a mission to sabotage the annual Hindu pilgrimage.

“Such terrorists are taken to task by our security forces and we shall ensure Amarnath Yatra and other pilgrimages are conducted smoothly,” he said.

Militants, their supporters and separatist leaders fueling insurgency on hawala money will not be spared, he said, referring back to the NIA raids.

“Everyone saw NIA’s action. It has happened for the first time and that too on such a large scale. Some people felt that none could touch them, but the NIA raids ended their misconception.”

“Anti-national elements will be treated the way terrorists are dealt with,” he said.