Army Trying To Prevent Terror Attacks: Antony

Army Trying To Prevent Terror Attacks: Antony

18 March 2013
Kashmir Times


New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said the Indian Army has taken steps to prevent terror attacks on its camps in Jammu and Kashmir and also asked China to stop its infrastructure projects in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PAK). 'There have been two incidents of firing by terrorists on Army Camps in J&K during the last one year. One Army person was killed in one of the incidents,' said Antony in Lok Sabha. On steps taken to check such incidents, he said, 'The Army has taken adequate steps to prevent attacks on Army Camps including deployment of troops and surveillance equipment.' The minister said troops are adequately trained and equipped to prevent such incidents. 'Intelligence inputs regarding possibility of such actions are disseminated to all concerned. Security drills are constantly reviewed and refined to prevent occurrence of such incidents,' said Antony. Antony added that the Indian government has asked China to stop its infrastructure projects in PAK. 'Government is aware of China undertaking infrastructure projects in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) which are being executed by Chinese civil companies,' said Antony. 'Government has conveyed its concerns to China about their activities in PoK and asked them to cease such activities,' he said. He said government is not considering to withdraw troops from the Siachen glacier. In reply to a question on death of soldiers in Siachen, Antony said since 2010, a total of 18 Indian soldiers have lost their lives in Siachen glaciers due to avalanches. While six soldiers were killed in 2010, five such incidents were reported in 2011. 2012 saw seven deaths and no such incident has been reported during the present year yet. On whether the government proposes to negotiate with Pakistan to demilitarise the area, Antony said, 'Any development and redeployment of troops in the area is contingent upon the threat perception, ground situation, operational and strategic consideration.' AK Antony said there has been no misuse of defence aircraft by VIPs, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. As per the existing instructions, only Prime Minister is entitled to use Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft for non-official visits for reasons of security as well as for due performance as the Head of the Government,' Antony claimed. 'No bill is pending for payment in connection with Prime Minister's non-official visits from December 2006 to December 2012. Bills for airlift for use of IAF aircraft are raised by IAF from time to time and necessary action is taken thereon,' he said. Government has not received any proposal to set up new commands to handle country's space assets, cyber infrastructure and for controlling commando operations, Defence Minister asserted. In a written reply, he said that 'no proposal to set up three new commands to handle threats to country's space assets, cyber infrastructure and for controlling commando operations has been received by the government. Antony said that the government attaches very high priority to the welfare, safety and security of Indian fishermen. 'From time to time, there have been reports of attacks and apprehension on Indian fishermen near International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). As soon as reports of attacks on Indian fishermen are received, the Government, through diplomatic channels, takes up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities,' he said. 'Keeping in mind the humanitarian and livelihood dimensions of the issue, Government has impressed on the Sri Lankan Navy to act with restraint, not to fire on our fishermen and treat our fishermen in a humane manner. The Government of Sri Lanka has denied involvement of their Navy in these incidents,' he said. The minister said the government continues to remain engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that fishermen on both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner. In reply to a question on the appointment of chief of defence staff (CDS), the defence minister said, 'The process of consultations was initiated in 2006, with raksha mantri writing to the leaders of all major political parties to obtain their views on the creation of the post of CDS.' Subsequently the political parties have been reminded to provide their views. Views of some political parties are still awaited. A decision on the matter would be taken after completion of the ongoing consultations, he said. On recruitment in Army in last three years, Antony told the House that in 2010, 1488 officers, including 93 women were inducted in the service. In 2011, there were total 164 women officers out of the total induction of 1780 officers, followed by 2035 officers in 2012. In 2012, 157 women had joined the service.