Pak deploying US equipments along J&K borders: Antony

Pak deploying US equipments along J&K borders: Antony

6 March 2010
The Daily Excelsior


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Expressing serious concern over the US equipping Pakistan Army with modern weapons, Defence Minister, A K Antony today said that instead of using against terrorists, the Pakistan Army was deploying such equipment on Jammu and Kashmir borders. 'United States decision to provide sophisticated weapons to Pakistan is a matter of serious concern to India. The US should ensure that these weapons are not targeted against India', he said while talking to reporters here. Noting that the issue had already been taken up with the US Defence Secretary during his visit to India recently, he said the American explanation that Pakistan Army has to be strengthened to fight terrorist outfits like Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan was not convincing to India. 'I told US Defence Secretary that even though they were providing equipment to fight terrorists, Pakistan Army was deploying them on Jammu and Kashmir borders', he said, adding 'this is a matter of concern to India and I hope that the US will take a serious note of this'. Antony further said that some forces against India have redoubled their attempts to infiltrate and create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. 'Normalcy is returning to Jammu and Kashmir and tourists are coming. But some forces against India have not reconciled with the situation. So, they have redoubled their attempts to infiltrate but our forces have by and large checked their attempts,' he added. Pointing out that 42 terrorist camps were functioning across Jammu and Kashmir border, he said 'it is a matter of concern', adding 'if they were not ready to disband or destroy these camps, we need to take some serious action'. Asked about whether India will issue any ultimatum in this regard, he said 'no, India was not a war mongering country.' He said while India preferred to carry on talks with Pakistan, Islamabad should take firm action to dismantle terrorist camps operating on its soil. 'Unless these terrorist camps are destroyed, it is a difficult situation. We want some action (by Pakistan) to dismantle these camps,' he added. After Mumbai terror strikes, Indian forces had been maintaining an 'eternal vigil'. It was due to the alertness of the Defence forces that many attempts by terrorists to strike were foiled, he said. Rejecting the criticism by certain Defence analysts that the acquisition of equipment for the Army had been less in the last few years, Antony said, in fact, this had doubled in the last five to six years. On the latest position on purchase of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov from Russia, he said the process was in the final stages. Antony ruled out the use of military to combat Naxal violence, saying a permanent solution to deal with it was to strengthen State police forces. However, he said military would provide logistic support like training and assistance to State police forces in their effort to combat the Naxal threat. Replying to a question, Antony said the Government has no information on China instigating Maoists in India. Earlier after inaugurating the Coast Guard Administrative complex, Antony said Coast Guard plans to set up Coast Guard Air Enclave at Kochi, Goa, Mangalore and Vishakapatnam. Indian Coast Guard Director General Vice Admiral Anil Chopra said Coast Guard would be strengthened by inducting 85 more ships by 2012. As part of expanding its marine intelligence gathering activities, Coastal Surveillance Network has been established, Chopra said. (AGENCIES)


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