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Indian armed forces ready for counter-attack: Sitharaman

The Indian armed forces are ready for counter-attack as their morale is high despite the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

“The response of all Indians to the terror attack in Pulwama has made our armed forces assert they are ready to retaliate against the enemy squarely,” Sitharaman told reporters here.

Clarifying that the terror attack on the Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) troops, in which 40 of them died, had not affected the armed forces in any way, the Minister said they (jawans) were ready to do their job.

“The terror attack has not affected their morale at all. It is our duty to keep their morale high. We are here to stand by them,” said Sitharaman at a press meet ahead of the biennial “Aero India 2019” air show in this aerospace hub from Wednesday.

Noting that she would respond to the queries on Pulwama attack after getting more information on it, the Minister said she could not disclose what the Defence Ministry was planning in order to avoid similar attack in future.

“We cannot disclose what we are planning to do to avoid similar attacks in the future,” Sitharaman said in response to a query by IANS.

“Every effort will be made to prevent such events. But if there has been a change in a strategy or lapse, it won’t be fair for me to talk about it at this moment,” the Defence Minister said.

She said though India sent evidence to Pakistan on terror attacks in the country since terrorists from its side came to Mumbai on November 26, 2008, its government did not take any action against them.

“Since the Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008, the previous (UPA) government had sent evidence to Pakistan, but they did not take any action. Even our (NDA) government sent evidence of involvement of non-state actors but no action has been taken so far,” Sitharaman said.

“Pakistan has nothing to show that they have taken action after evidence provided for earlier attackers,” she stressed.

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