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Army capable of firm reply to Pak: Jaitley

india Updated: Jun 15, 2014 09:09 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times

A day after Pakistan violated ceasefire along the Line of Control, defence minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said India was capable of protecting its borders at any given time.

"We are capable of fighting back in the event of any ceasefire violation by Pakistan," said the defence minister in Srinagar. "Our army and jawans are always ready to deal with such situations."

Jaitley on Saturday began his two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir during which he will review the security situation in the valley at a high-level meeting. "The state is important to us. I will review the security situation, meet the representatives, government and also people in two days," he said.

Ahead of Jaitley's visit, there was a ceasefire violation along the LoC on Friday. Pakistani troops targeted Indian posts with heavy firing and mortar shelling in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting retaliation by Indian forces. Pakistani troops targeted Indian positions in the Balakote sector with mortars and rockets, killing cattle and damaging houses.

This is the 20th incident of ceasefire violation in the state since April this year. Last year, 149 such incidents had taken place.

The timing of the ceasefire violation was also questioned by chief minister Omar Abdullah on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Top army officers posted in the state briefed the defence minister about the anti-militancy operations along the LoC to check infiltration from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and in the hinterland.

The other issues likely to come up for discussion are the security arrangements for the forthcoming annual Amarnath yatra and rehabilitation and return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, the officials said.

During his stay in the state, Jaitley is also scheduled to visit some forward areas along the LoC where he will interact with local army officers.