Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said it was not her ministry’s duty to assess whether the Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir was successful, PTI reported. Sitharaman said the security forces reserved the right to retaliate if there were any unprovoked attacks from across the border.
The defence minister reiterated the government’s stand that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand. “It’s our business to guard the border and we won’t stop if we’re provoked,” she told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi. “We shall be alert that no unprovoked attack goes without us responding. It’s our duty to keep India safe.”
The defence minister also dismissed reports of a shortage of ammunition. She said there was a shortage of funds under the previous United Progressive Alliance government, but that was not the case anymore.
She claimed that there was no scam in the Rafale deal with France. Sitharaman also said that the United States had been told that New Delhi procures its defence equipment and spare parts from Moscow. “We have reached a final stage in S-400 [Triumf long-range air-defence system] negotiations,” Sitharaman said. Her comments came in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States.