Economy

Jaitley says Pakistan ‘successfully prevented’ dialogue

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018

jaitley

Situation in Kashmir is much better than what the impression is made out to be

The Union Minister for Finance and Defence, Arun Jaitley, on Thursday hinted at the fact that talks between India and Pakistan is not going to be revived any time soon even as he blamed the neighbouring country for stalling the dialogue.

“The government of India has taken significant steps to ease the situation in the past … But each one of these has been responded by a Pathankot, or Uri or even the mutilation of two of our soldiers. Therefore, that environment which must exist for a talk has been successfully prevented by Pakistan,” Jaitley said addressing a press conference on the government’s achievements in the last three years.

He said the India had taken several initiatives to ease the tensions with Pakistan like inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to India during the swearing-in ceremony or Prime Minister Narendra Modi attending a function in his family at Lahore.

“The fact that at the swearing-in of the government when the SAARC neighbours were invited, Pakistan Prime Minister was invited, the fact that our Prime Minister dropped in at Lahore at a social function in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, were all steps intended to ease the tension,” Jaitley said.

Kashmir Policy

According to Jaitley, the situation in Kashmir is much better than what the impression is made out to be.

“The situation in Kashmir is much better than the impression we get. In the past few weeks, our armed forces (Indian Army, BSF and CRPF) are dominating the LoC. The security forces have been able to build up lot of pressure on the terrorists,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Army Chief Bipin Rawat convened a high-level meeting in Srinagar with the entire top brass of the Army, including all seven army commanders.

Incidents of firing along the LoC were also reported between both sides. During the firing, Indian Army killed five Pakistani soldiers and injured six, according to Indian Army sources.

FDI in Defence remained negligible

On the issue of minimal foreign direct investments into the defence sector, Jaitley said the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy is only an enabling factor, while other avenues are also being explored like the policy on strategic partnerships under the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), 2016.

“The FDI changes merely open the door. They are enabling. They themselves do not ensure that immediately entry of participants will take place. And there is only one defence procurer in the country and that is why the strategic partner policy now has been brought in because it is going to supplement the FDI policy whether the strategic partner will come through the FDI route or it just comes through a tech tie-up they will be free to do so,” he added.

The government had approved the ‘Strategic Partnership’ policy last month.

Published on June 01, 2017

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