Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asserted that action will continue at the international border with Pakistan irrespective of the whether the neighbouring have learnt a lesson or not. Speaking on the 2016 surgical strikes, Sitharaman said she would believe an action of this kind would deter Pakistan from training and sending terrorists.
“I would believe an action of this kind would deter Pakistan from training and sending terrorists. My action will continue at the border irrespective of whether they have learnt a lesson or not,” said Sitharaman.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, the defence minister said that she will make it clear in Parliament that she has responded to queries on the Opposition’s allegations on Rafale deal four times and has also given written responses. She pointed out that the fact remains if the Opposition has accepted those answers.
“I will make it clear in Parliament that I have responded to this query four times. I have given written responses too but the fact remains that, are you accepting those answers?” asked the defence minister.
Speaking on the agreement with Russia for the supply of S-400 air defence systems, Sitharaman said the negotiation has been going on for a long while and both the countries have reached a stage where the agreement can be finalised.
“Negotiation on S-400 air defence systems has been on for a long while and it is at a stage where it can be finalised. We have a big legacy of buying defence equipment from Russia,” said Sitharaman in Chennai.
India and Russia are likely to sign the agreement to supply the S-400 Triumf (NATO code: SA-21 Growler) air defence missile by the end of 2018. According to Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation chief Dmitry Shugayev the two countries have agreed on the main aspects of the S-400 Triumf missile system and it is just a matter of time before the deal is inked.
Sitharam, too, had in July said that India will go ahead with the S-400 missile deal with Russia despite reservations expressed by the United States of America. India and Russia are likely to formalise the agreement during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in October 2018.