Security forces to act "very tough" against terrorists in Kashmir: Jaitley

Arun Jaitley

Finance and defence minister Arun Jaitley on Friday questioned China's real intention behind developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of its showpiece "One Belt One Road" (OBOR) infrastructure initiative.

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The Minister complimented the Indian Army for its preparedness, and said soldiers were confident not to allow infiltration from across the border, and to give an adequate response to ceasefire violations from across the Line of Control.

Mr. Jaitley held a meeting with senior army commanders at a forward post along the LoC in north Kashmir, and reviewed the security situation in the valley which has been witnessing spiralling violence.

Jaitley, who undertook a visit to a Rampur sector of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, said the Indian Army is fully prepared to foil any form of infiltration bid.

He said the government's priority was to "restore normalcy" and law and order in the Kashmir Valley. The effect of their actions is that besides security personnel, local citizens are also losing their lives. "The resources, which are meant for the economic development of the people, are today being used essentially for security and who is to be blamed for that era of violence", he said. However, as far as those who are killing people, we can't extend the same facilities to them.

Jaitley, however, also asked the security forces that while going tough against militants they should avoid collateral damage during counter insurgency operations in J&K and "ensure safety of the innocent people while dealing firmly with the inimical elements" and step up people-friendly initiatives under its Sadhbhavana campaign.

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While speaking about violence, Jaitley said that those people who resort to violence will be taken into account for their activities.

He said the aspirations of the people have to be addressed but that can be done only when there is peace in the state.

"Terrorism and militancy, and those who have taken to violence, will be treated differently", the Minister said.

"I visited the LoC, interacted with officials and jawans there".

"If there are ceasefire violations, our soldiers will give an adequate response".

He was accompanied by GOC of Baramulla based Division, Maj Gen RP Kalita.

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