The Indian Army would continue to respect a ceasefire in Kashmir announced to coincide with the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramzan but added that no unprovoked attack — from either militants or from across the border — would go unanswered, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday at a press conference on the occasion of the NDA government completing four years in office on 26 May.
Sitharaman said the army was given the right to adequately respond to any cross-border attacks or unprovoked firing from across the Line of Control and international border.
Last month, the Indian home ministry had announced a suspension of security operations against militants in Kashmir during Ramzan, which started on May 17.
There are a number of militant groups operating in Kashmir whom India accuses of being supported by Pakistan, a charge Pakistan denies.
On India-Russia defence cooperation, Sitharaman said India had very clearly conveyed to the US that the cooperation will continue. This would also include the deal for S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force, notwithstanding the American sanctions against Moscow.
“In all our engagements with the US, we have clearly explained how India and Russia’s defence cooperation has been going on for a long time and that it is a time-tested relationship. We have mentioned that CAATSA cannot impact the India-Russia defence cooperation,” Sitharaman said.