On Unprovoked Attacks During Ramzan, Defence Minister’s Message To Pak
- Home Ministry data shows attacks in Kashmir rising
- The government had announced a Ramzan ceasefire
- Will respond to any unprovoked attack, says Defence Minister
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today categorically said India will honour the Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir but will respond to any unprovoked attack.
“When it is an unprovoked attack, the army was given the right to retaliate… We honour the ceasefire but a margin was given to us when there is an unprovoked attack,” Ms Sitharaman said at a function to mark her ministry’s achievements in Delhi today.
Amid repeated terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the border, the government had announced that the security forces will desist from anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Last month, data collated by the home ministry, however, showed that the number of terror attacks in the Valley has been on the rise and civilians have been facing the brunt of it. While four incidents of terrorist violence were reported in the valley a week before the initiative was announced on May 16, the number rose to 13 a week after.
Over the last four days, 10 attacks have taken place in the Valley. In the last one, which took place yesterday, 14 civilians and two police officers were injured. Terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The defence minister said it was not her ministry’s role to “assess whether ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir has been successful or not”.
But she made it clear that unprovoked attacks even at the border will not go unpunished. “It is our business to guard the border and we won’t stop if we’re provoked. We shall be alert that no unprovoked attack goes without us responding. It’s our duty to keep India safe,” she said.