New Delhi: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today said that terrorists in Kashmir valley are now on the run and the number of stone pelters has dwindled from hundreds to twenty or thirty.
Jaitley said that currency squeeze after demonetization and NIA action on hawala deals by separatist leaders have resulted in terrorists looting banks in the valley for funds. He said, terrorists used to cross Line of Control in thousands earlier, but now the figure has come down substantially. Mr Jaitley specifically praised the Jammu and Kashmir police for working hard towards eliminating terrorists.
The Defence Minister claimed that country’s security forces are practically dominating on the Line of Control, and it has become very difficult for terrorists to intrude, especially after the surgical strike. On a query relating to use of ISIS flags by terrorists in the Valley, Mr Jaitley described them as isolated incidents. He said country is free from the menace of ISIS by and large.
The Minister also said that government wants India to become a global power in defence manufacturing sector. He said, private players are being encouraged to come forward. He said, his Ministry will continue to strengthen country’s ordnance factories and defence PSUs.
The Defence Minister refused to make any remark on the current India-China Doklam standoff. Mr Jaitley, who is also the Finance Minister, said that in next year’s budget, his top most priorities will be national security and rural India.