Srinagar : The Centre on Sunday asserted that dialogue with Pakistan cannot progress if ceasefire violations and infiltration continue, saying such hostilities “must stop” for the situation to “normalise”.
“For the situation to normalise I think it is extremely important that these kind of violations which are taking place at the LoC must stop. That in itself is a confidence building measure before any country can proceed further,” Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here on the second day of his maiden visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking charge.
He replied in the negative when asked if dialogue with Pakistan would go ahead if the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir continued.
“Obviously not,” Jaitley, who is on a two-day visit for reviewing security measures, said, adding ceasefire violations must stop for further progress.
India has maintained that it has been its endeavour to establish peaceful and friendly relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan.
It has reminded Pakistan that maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border is a “pre-condition” for having a normal relationship between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his swearing in last month and held a meeting with him on crucial bilateral issues including terror and speedy trial of Mumbai terror attack case in Pakistan.
The meeting was seen as a positive development in the Indo-Pak ties, which for last one year have witnessed cold vibes due to the incidents along the Line of Control, including beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistan troops.
The third round of comprehensive Indo-Pak dialogue process was stalled in January last after the beheading incident.
Jaitley today said he has discussed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in separate meetings with Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and senior Army officers.
He also attended a special security review meeting with Omar, top civil, army, police and paramilitary officials this morning.
The border, I have discussed that with the army and also spoke to the jawans who protect the borders. In these areas, our army has established domination and its capability in stopping these infiltrations has developed,” he said.
The Defence Minister said ceasefire violations were taking place along the Line of Control but Army was giving appropriate response to these incidents.
“I am confident that we are fully prepared and I am going back with a reasonable sense of satisfaction,” he said.
Asked about provocative Al Qaeda videos, Jaitley said India has considerable strength not to allow inimical elements to foment trouble in the country.
“There are forces inimical to India which would not like peace to continue. Therefore we factor all this in when we discuss the situation.
“But I am reasonably confident that the strength of the India as a state not to allow such elements to foment trouble in India is considerable,” he said.
Jaitley said while he is optimistic, the Government was also cautious in view of the inimical elements trying to create trouble in the country.
“Even when I am optimistic, there is an element of caution in my optimism because people inimical to India will try to foment trouble,” he added.
Jaitley, accompanied by Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh, arrived here yesterday.
Besides holding meetings in the capital, Jaitley visited some forward areas in Uri sector near LoC where he interacted with the army officers and jawans to get first-hand account of the situation.
Jaitley visited the army posts close to the Haji Pir pass and said that Indian troops were working “selflessly” towards maintaining the sanctity of the LoC.
“Our soldiers strive selflessly to maintain the sanctity of the LoC and in responding to any ceasefire violations.” Jaitley tweeted.
“Visited the Army Posts at the LoC in the Haji Pir Area.
Our soldiers are doing a commendable job in safeguarding the country,” Jaitley added.