Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has warned Pakistan that India will retaliate with “double the force” whenever the Pakistani military fires at Indian positions.
Parrikar also said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), presently controlled by both the road transport and defence ministries, will be brought solely under his ministry.
The defence ministry was also thinking of reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence firms and may give conditioned and limited approval to dealing with some based on merit, he told the media late Tuesday.
Parrikar’s comments came amid fresh violations by Pakistan of the 2003 ceasefire on the Jammu and Kashmir border.
He explained what the Indian military would do if Pakistanis opened fire.
“I would say, don’t agitate, react appropriately but without holding yourself back. When something happens, retaliate with double the force.
“If terrorists attack any defence establishment, the instruction is (to) neutralise them without losing any men,” he added.
Parrikar said the number of border firing incidents had fallen along the Line of Control (LoC).
“It (firing) had increased along the (international border). But even that has gone down in the last two months compared to last year.”
The LoC and the international border divide Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
The minister denied that the army was late in responding to the ethnic violence in Assam.
“We were alert even before the news was flashed in the media. The armed forces stationed there were ready but we had to wait for a request from the local administration.
“As soon as the administration requested, we deployed the forces,” he said.
About more transparency in military deals, the minister said rules will be changed soon to regularise representatives from foreign military firms.
“Changes will be made… representatives will be allowed but commission or percentage of profit for the deals will not be allowed. The representative’s remuneration shall be declared by the company,” he said.
He said the ministry was thinking of reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence companies and may give conditioned and limited approval to dealing with some based on merit.
The minister said a ban on Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) has been partially lifted to get spare parts for Tatra trucks.
He called for an overhaul of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), saying that outdated technologies were being used to build roads in the border areas. “This way we cannot make a road in 15 years.”
On the long delayed purchase of 126 fighter aircraft, the minister said negotiations with Dassault of France was on and their representative might come to India soon.