Govt to LS: Pak surgical strike only after intel on terror strikes

RSTV Bureau
 Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with  Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh, Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, pays homage to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the occassion of 'Vijay Diwas' in New Delhi Photo-PTI

File photo of former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with former Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh, Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and former Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, paying homage to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the occassion of ‘Vijay Diwas’ in New Delhi

The cross-LoC surgical strike was carried out by the Indian army after “specific and very definite” inputs about terrorists at launch pads in PoK planning attacks in this country, the government told the Parliament on Friday.

The strikes were carried out with absolute precision and the targets were completely destroyed with no casualty being suffered by the Indian forces, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said in the Lok Sabha.

“When we received the specific and very definite inputs across the border that there were several terrorist teams positioned at the launch pads, ready to carry out strike in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of country with an aim of causing destruction and damage to the citizen…Then our army conducted a surgical strike with precision without causing any casualty on our side but causing destruction of terrorist and people supporting them,” Bhamre said.

The surgical strike was carried out in September last year after a major terror attack on an army camp in Uri in Kashmir.

Bhamre then went on to talk about the ceasefire violations from across the border.

During 2016 and 2015 there were 228 and 152 ceasefire violations, respectively, by Pakistan, Bhamre explained.

Replying to a debate on Demands for Grants for Defence, Bhamre said the changing global geo-political dynamics in the nation with multiple security challenges, forces the defence forces to constantly review their operational preparedness to meet new challenges.

“We have always been pursuing peace with our neighbours. But since many many years, cross-border terrorism, proxy wars are forced onto our country… Our armed forces are committed to defend our country from external and internal threats,” he said.

“India has one of the finest armed forces in the world. Our armed forces are well prepared to meet any challenge and the Indian army is meeting challenges of insurgency and cross border terrorism as seen during the surgical strike,” Bhamre said in praise of the Indian Forces.

On the Opposition charge that defence budget in proportion to the GDP  has come down, Bhamre said it may not be always proper to consider defence spending in terms of national economic output.

“Looking at spending as a percentage of GDP creates an illusion of declining spending by ignoring the size of economy… I would like to assure the House there is no dearth of money,” he said.

During 2017-18, defence Budget allocation has been increased by about 6 per cent from Rs 2.59 lakh crore last year to Rs 2.74 lakh crore.

He said that the government was taking steps to reduce procurement time and increase self-reliance by buying domestic equipment.

(With inputs from PTI)