We are responding to every ceasefire violation: Sitharaman

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday vehemently stated that although no talks would take place unless terrorism is put to an end in Pakistan, India is strongly responding to every ceasefire violation being carried out by the neighbour country.

“There will not be any talks with Pakistan as long as terrorism continues from their soil, at the same time if ceasefire violations are happening, we are responding to every violation. If violations are more than last week, we are eliminating them and pushing them back. You would hear of the actions we are taking in containing them, pushing them back and even eliminating them,” she said while addressing a press conference.

With regards to the 2016 surgical strikes, Sitharaman said the attack was carried out in response to Pakistan’s cowardly act of entering the military base of India and attacking unarmed, resting soldiers.

“In September 2016, surgical strikes happened and the context in which that had to happened is that when a neighbour can do a cowardly act of getting into our army base and killing our unarmed soldiers, even when infiltrations are happening at the border, it was necessary for the army to take this call. The decision, which was politically backed, led to the strike on terrorist launch pads in a territory held by our enemies. That had to happen and therefore when we are celebrating it after two years” she said while addressing a press conference.

Sitharaman continued: “We are marking it by calling it a ‘Parv’, -Parakram Parv. It means we do remember the sacrifice we made as a result of the cowardly act by our enemy and the punishment that we had to show. We wanted to make it clear that we are not going to take this kind of an attack sitting silent- that is the backdrop and the narrative I would like to put forward.”

Lashing out at the Opposition that attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for politicising the surgical strikes, Sitharaman said the event was showcased to show solidarity to the Armed Forces for their valour, and to make it clear that India would not blatantly accept a cowardly act.

“Anybody who thinks that this (surgical strike) is being politicised, I don’t know what they mean by that. Are they suggesting that we have to ashamed of it, or are they suggesting that they don’t want to be associated with it, or are they wanting to be associated with an enemy which covertly entered into our base and attacked unarmed soldiers? The question is not to the government; the question is to those who ask, ‘Are you politicising it’?” she said.

With regards to the Rafale jet deal, over which constant political slugfest has been witnessed, Sitharaman said the deal signed by the National Democratic Alliance was far better than that under the United Progressive Alliance.

“This intergovernmental agreement has achieved a much better deal than what was proposed in the non-deal of the United Progressive Alliance and that intent was very well stated in the press release of April 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President had given a joint statement that this shall be a better deal,” she confirmed.