Chidambaram rules out inadequacy of equipment with armed forces

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 11:21 hrs

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday ruled out assumptions that there is any inadequacy of equipment with the Indian armed forces, and termed the incident along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District to be a brutal one.

" I do not agree that there is any inadequacy of equipment. This is an incident of which we take grave notice. Such an incident has happened before too and we took grave notice of those incidents too. And both the Defence Minister and the External Affairs Minister have spoken on the matter. And as I said whatever has to be done, will be done," Chidambaram told the media here.

"But I do not agree with your assumption that there is any inadequacy of equipment. This is a brutal incident where one of our jawans was killed and his body was mutilated. We have to, therefore, focus on that issue and respond to that issue," he added.

When asked whether there was a discussion on the Cabinet about decreasing the speed of re-engagement with Pakistan, Chidambaram said it is for the Ministry of Defence to give a befitting reply on it.

"The CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) was briefed about the incident and the subsequent developments. But there is nothing for me to share in this media conference. If anything has to be stated, it will be said by the Defence Ministry," he said.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir had earlier on Wednesday denied a Pakistan Army attack on Indian soldiers in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district on Tuesday.

"I would like to address some of the concerns, which are expressed here in the Indian media since yesterday regarding what is called the Mendhar incident. First of all, I would like to say that Pakistan remains firmly committed to respecting the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. It is important, I believe both governments agree, that the ceasefire, which is an important confidence building measure, must be respected by both sides," Bashir told ANI.

The Pakistani envoy, who was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) yesterday, further said that the Director Generals of Military Operations have been in contact with each other over the Mendhar incident.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid yesterday said that Pakistan's High Commissioner has been told in very strong terms that the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops is 'unacceptable', and added that it will have an adverse impact if it is not immediately contained.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony condemned the killing of two soldiers by the Indian army as 'highly provocative', and said that the way one of the Indian soldier's bodies had been treated was 'inhuman'.

In a major escalation to the ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts, a group of Pakistan Army soldiers raided across the Line of Control in Mendhar sector and killed two Indian soldiers and injured one more. The Pakistani troops attacked an area domination patrol party of the Indian Army.

Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh were the two Indian soldiers killed brutally by the Pakistani troops. (ANI)

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