Jammu: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir along with top Army commanders during his two-day visit to the state that starts today.
The minister's scheduled visit, his first to the state since assuming office, comes a day after a major ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar sector yesterday. (Ceasefire Violation in J&K: Mortar Firing from Pakistan Side, India Retaliates)
Questioning the timing of the ceasefire violation, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging website twitter, "Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?"
Heavy firing and mortar shelling from across the border began at around 7 am on Friday with Pakistani troops targeting Indian posts along the LoC, drawing retaliation by the Indian Army.
Strongly condemning the firing, New Delhi said "peace on the border is a pre-condition for normal relationship" with Islamabad.
"On firing, I will like to reiterate that peace and tranquility on the border is of the highest importance in establishing the pre-condition for such peaceful and normal relationship," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told reporters.
During his visit, Mr Jaitley will be briefed about the militancy situation in the state by the Northern Army Commander and the three Corps Commanders under him looking after the security of the international borders, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, Defence Ministry officials said.
Army chief Gen Bikram Singh will be present and he is likely to be accompanied by Army Chief- Designate Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag during the briefings.
Mr Jaitley may also hold meetings with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Governor.