New Delhi: Director general of military operation Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup addressed a joint press conference on Thursday morning on India conducting surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC). Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security.
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Here’s the full text of Singh’s televised speech, as streamed by DD News:
• It has been a matter of serious concern that there has been continuing and increasing infiltration by terrorists across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. This is reflected in the terrorist attacks at Punch and Uri on 11 and 18 September, respectively.
• Almost 20 infiltration attempts have been foiled by the Indian army successfully during this year.
• During these terrorist attacks and infiltration attempts, we have recovered items, including the global positioning systems and stores which have had Pakistani markings.
• Further, captured terrorists hailing from Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have confessed to their training and arming in Pakistan or the territory under the control of Pakistan. The matter has been taken up at the highest diplomatic levels and the military levels at regular times.
• India has actually also offered consular access to the apprehended terrorists to Pakistan to verify their confessions. Furthermore, we had proposed that fingerprints and DNA samples of terrorists who had been killed in the Uri and Poonch encounters can also be made available to Pakistan for their investigations.
• Despite our persistent urging that Pakistan respect its commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India, there has been no let up in infiltration or terrorist actions inside our territory.
• If the damage was limited, it has been primarily due to the efforts of the soldiers of the Indian army who are deployed in a multi-tier counter-infiltration grid and most of the infiltration bids have been foiled at those locations.
• The Indian armed forces have been extremely vigilant in the face of continuing threat.
• Now based on very specific and credible information which we received on Wednesday, that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the LoC with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and various other metros in our country, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launch pads.
• The operations were basically focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carry out destruction and endangering the lives of the citizens of our country.
• During these counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them.
• The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for further continuation of the operations. However, the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise.
• I have just spoken to the Pakistani director general of military operations and explained our concerns and also shared with him the operations that we had conducted last night.
• It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region, but we can certainly not allow the terrorists to operate across the LoC with impunity and attack the citizens of our country.
• In line with Pakistan’s commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control for any terrorists activities against India, we expect the Pakistan army to cooperate with us with a view to erase this menace of terrorism from our region.