New Delhi: The army has mobilised all its resources to effectively retaliate to any ceasefire violation by Pakistan, Defence Minister A K Antony said yesterday.
Replying to clarifications from members in the Rajya Sabha on his statement on the attack near the Line of Control (LoC) that killed five Indian soldiers on August 6, Antony said the government was taking the incident “very very seriously” and that armed forces would take every step to protect the sanctity of the LoC.
Earlier, Antony read out the statement he made in the Lok Sabha on Aug 8 on the “unprovoked attack” on Indian troops along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Now the army (is) taking all possible steps, sometimes strong action, to effectively retaliate every violation on the LoC. The army has mobilised all its resources to effectively retaliate any violation,” Antony said.
“Our forces, specially the army, will take every step to protect the sanctity of the LoC,” Antony said.
Members from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Communist Party of India sought clarifications from the minister about his reference to consequences of the LoC incident in his statement.
Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley made an indirect query on speculation that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN meet next month.
“Do we start the process of engagement at the highest level? Rules of engagement are clear. Engage when an environment is there,” Jaitley said. He said “incursions and provocations from Pakistan were increasing even as the civilian government there talks of peace”.
Antony said the government fully understands the sentiments of the house.
“Our response and relationship with Pakistan will be on the basis of statements made by me,” Antony said.
In his statement, the defence minister said that the killing of five Indian soldiers “will have consequences on our behaviour on the Line of Control and for our relations with Pakistan”.
Antony said his statement reflected the views of the government. He said ceasefire violations happen every year but their frequency has caused concerns.
“This time (what) worried us more is the frequency,” he said.
Antony said there had been 24 ceasefire violations between August 6 and 6am yesterday.
“Our restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of our armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the LoC ever be doubted,” he said.