New Delhi: In a clear message to Pakistan, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand.
Addressing a press conference, the defence minister further said that though the Army respects the Ramzan ceasefire, any unprovoked attack would not go without it responding.
“When it is an unprovoked attack the Army was given the right to retaliate. We honour the ceasefire but of course, a margin was given to us when there is an unprovoked attack,” Sitharaman said.
The minister added, “Ministry of Defence's role isn't to asses whether it was successful or not. It's our business to guard the border and we won't stop if we're provoked. We shall be alert that no unprovoked attack goes without us responding. It's our duty to keep India safe.”
Nirmala Sitharaman also denied any shortage of ammunition or funds for the Defence forces. She also termed the allegations of scam in the Rafael deal as “baseless”.
“The Armed Forces faced funds shortage under the UPA government. However, there are no shortages of funds now," the minister said.
The Union Defence Minister added, “There is no shortage of Defence ammunition today. Allegations of scam in the Rafale deal are baseless.”
Clarifying the ministry’s order regarding the opening of roads in cantonments, Sitharaman said, "The MOD order is for cantonments where civilians and Armed Forces live together. It doesn't apply to military stations.”
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a press conference about the achievements of Ministry of Defence in last four years in New Delhi. She also launched an interactive e-book about the ministry’s achievements.