Saturday, March 6, 2010

A K Antony asked Pakistan to shut down 42 terrorist camps

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Defence minister A K Antony on Saturday asked Pakistan to shut down 42 terrorist camps he said were functioning in its territory if India-Pakistan talks were to succeed.

\"Pakistan has not made any serious attempt to disband the camps that are functioning close to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision for bilateral talks has been made consciously and it was not an ad hoc one,\" Antony told reporters after inaugurating the new office complex of the Coast Guard station at Vizhinjam near here.

\"Though there was no breakthrough (in the foreign secretary talks), being a conscious decision the process (of talks) will continue,\" he added.

The minister said the central home ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government had evolved a formula to check infiltration and help terrorists to return to normal life.

\"Many have surrendered too. With the conditions becoming normal, there is an increase in tourist arrivals in Kashmir. Attempts for terrorist infiltration are there and the armed forces are maintaining vigil on the border,\" he said.

On the US supply of arms to Pakistan, he said Washington should make sure that the weapons were used against Islamist militants on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and not targeted at India.

He denied that the government had any information that the Chinese were covertly helping Indian Maoists.

\"The army will give logistic support to the state police (of Maoist-affected states). Paramilitary forces will be used for training the state police,\" said Antony.

He said the acquisition of defence equipments and aircraft had increased considerably in the past five years.

\"The process for acquiring the Kiev-class aircraft, Admiral Gorshkov, from Russia is in the final stage,\" added Antony.

He said that after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the threat through sea had increased. The armed forces were engaged in coordinated efforts to prevent similar attacks.

\"One of the positive aspects is that even fishermen have become alert and are giving valuable tip-offs to the (security) forces,\" said Antony.

Ten Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai in November 2008 by the sea and went on a killing spree over three days. They slaughtered 166 Indians and foreigners.

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