New Delhi: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said today that his government had taken enough steps to ease tension but Pakistan had responded with cross-border terrorism to "successfully" prevent the atmosphere for peace talks.
- PM Modi had invited Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony 3 years ago
- Arun Jaitley said Pakistan prevented the atmosphere necessary for talks
- Pakistan-based terror groups carried out the Pathankot and Uri attacks
The government took "significant steps to ease the situation", Mr Jaitley said at a press conference to mark three years of the BJP-led government. These included Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing in and his surprise visit to Lahore on Mr Sharif's birthday.
"Each one of these was responded by Pakistan with, let's say, a Pathankot or an Uri or even the mutilation of two of our soldiers. Environment which must exist for talks was successfully prevented by Pakistan," Mr Jaitely said.
The Minister also said Indian forces have been dominating the Line of Control, the de facto border with Pakistan, for the "past few weeks".
Responding to questions, he refused to get into details about how the government planned to control escalating militancy in Kashmir.
"I don't want to get into the strategic details but in the past few weeks our armed forces are dominating the LoC. Our security forces have been maintaining control over the situation," said Mr Jaitley.
Asked about the situation in the Kashmir Valley, the Minister said it was not as bad as it was made out to be. "I would recommend that you too visit Kashmir, whatever impression we get here, the situation is actually much better than that. We stayed there for the three-day GST meet, only some areas were tense, Srinagar was quite normal," he commented.
Ties between India and Pakistan have nosedived over a series of attacks from across the border, including the beheading of two soldiers by Pakistanis last month and multiple infiltration attempts by terrorists.