Visakhapatnam: Defence minister Arun Jaitley was vehement in his condemnation of the killing of two civilians by Pakistani troops in the R.S. Pura sector of Jammu.
Talking to reporters here on Saturday on the sidelines of the commissioning of the first indigenously built stealth Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette INS Kamorta, Mr Jaitley said, “It’s condemnable that the Pakistan troops killed civilians. Killing civilians during war itself is a condemnable act and such an incident during peace time and ceasefire is worse. It’s highly condemnable.”
To another query, the defence minister said that the ceasefire violations by Pakistan are increasing. However, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Army guarding the LoC and the international border are effectively working and tackling those violations.
“They are vigilant and effectively responding to each violation. They are protecting both our territory and national interest,” he added.
The minister’s observations came on a day when Pakistani troops took to heavy “unprovoked” shelling and firing on 22 border outposts and 13 villages, killing two civilians and injuring six others, including a BSF jawan along the international border in the Jammu sector.
The firing and shelling by Pakistan on Saturday came a day after locating of a possible cross-border tunnel from the PoK along LoC in Chalka post in Pallanwala sector of Jammu district.
In all there have been 16 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in about a fortnight and is 18th this month. Earlier, the defence minister said the Indian Navy is gaining in strength by the day and playing out an important role in safeguarding the maritime interests of the country.
“We have a vast coastline and the Navy is doing a commendable job in maritime security,” he said.
Of the 119 warships and submarines in the pipeline, 42 are being built at various shipyards in the country, he added. Mr Jaitley said PSUs and the industries in the private sector should work in a competitive manner, which will help the indigenisation of the defence sector.
Acknowledging the problems faced by the ailing Vizag based defence PSU, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. due to lack of orders, he assured the Centre’s support for its revival. He added that the HSL is the biggest shipyard in the country with a good track record.