On a day when the US asked Pakistan to fight all terror groups, India today warned that “pro-active” steps will be taken to deal with the “proxy war” supported by the neighbouring country and said a “difference” will be seen in the next six months.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar while sending a tough message to Pakistan over ceasefire violations and infiltrations by militants also said it will be ensured that the “enemy” doesn’t show any more interest in proxy war. At the same time, he said India wanted peace with Pakistan.
Parrikar’s remarks came even as Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh accused Pakistan of continuing to support “proxy war” in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties due to terror on its soil.
Asking Pakistan to target all militant groups, US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Islamabad that terror outfits like LeT, Taliban and the Haqqani network posed a threat to countries in the region like India and also to the US.
“On proxy war, the government is very clear about what is happening. We have taken a stand and though I will not like to tell you what is the exact action we are taking…you will be able to see the difference by the time summer gets over. In the next 6 months you will see the difference in actual figures,” Parrikar told a press conference in Lucknow.
Stating that “one difference” is already visible, he said the number of terrorists neutralised so far this year is about 65 to 70 per cent more than that in last year.
“We want peace with our neighbours, but if there is an attempt for proxy war, we will take some proactive steps. What kind of proactive steps cannot be revealed in a press conference.
“But, I can assure you that we will ensure that enemy doesn’t show any interest in proxy war or the interest comes down,” he added.
To a question on dialogue with Pakistan, the Defence Minister said, “India’s position is very clear. The stand taken by the Ministry of External Affairs is clear. If any dialogue has to be done with Pakistan, they should first stop ceasefire violation and intrusion of terrorists.”
“If it does not stop, then dialogue alone will not bring a solution. That should be very clear, intention expressed should be reflected in performance and delivery on the ground,” he said.
In Delhi, the Army Chief said, “Pakistan is supporting proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir despite suffering casualties within their country”.
Gen Singh said one will have to “wait and watch” if Pakistan Army has had a change of heart since the gruesome terror attack on an Army school in Peshawar last month.
“Threats and challenges have been growing, both in intensity as well as commitment, because of active borders that we have,” Singh said addressing his annual press conference.
The comments by Parrikar and Gen Singh came close on the heels of allegations by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that India was “involved in the attacks on Pakistan from Afghanistan”.
On issues pending from several years like closure of roads, Parrikar said, “We have started working out solution one by one. An order has been issued that all roads which have been blocked without following the laid down procedure should be opened.”
He said that another issue is welfare of the ex-servicemen.
The Defence Minister said that there were a large number of cases pending in various courts, particularly with regard to disability.
“There are some 3,000 to 4,000 pending cases at various levels. We have taken a decision that we will not make disabled ex-servicemen fight unnecessarily in the courts. The benefit will flow to all the disabled soldiers,” he said.
Parrikar said that the online registration for army recruitment drive was being introduced on trial basis at two places.
“If we get successful response we will use similar type of technique here also so that there is no unnecessary rush at the time of drive,” he said.