Rajnath Singh responds to Amarinder Singh's Punjab arms drop tweet, says Indian defence forces capable of 'combating, defeating' any challenge

  • The defence minister also issued an assurance regarding Army chief Bipin Rawat's statement on 'reactivated' terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot

  • On Tuesday, Rawat referred to the site of the Indian Air Force's surgical strike in February this year, and said 'Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently'

  • India's move had come after a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, which had killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers

A day after Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah regarding alleged Pakistan-origin drones delivering arms and ammunition across the border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the jawans of the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy are capable of "combating and defeating" any challenge to national security.

Rajnath, who is in Chennai for a routine review, on Wednesday addressed Amarinder's appeal that the Centre should look into the issue of weapons and communication devices being delivered in Punjab from Pakistan with the aim to disrupt peace and order. In the letter on Tuesday, Amarinder asked Shah to take up the matter "first hand".

"Whatever be the challenges of national security, our jawans are capable of combating and defeating them, be it Army, Air Force or Navy," Rajnath said.

Amarinder also alleged that the drone incidents were just one of Pakistan’s "sinister designs" following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370. This announcement came two days after the Punjab Police claimed to have busted a terror module of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany.

Police said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining states. A huge cache of arms, including five AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and hand grenades, was seized from them. Given the international links and ramifications of the conspiracy, Amarinder reportedly decided to hand over all further investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The defence minister also issued an assurance regarding Army chief Bipin Rawat's statement on "reactivated" terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot.

On Tuesday, Rawat referred to the site of the Indian Air Force's surgical strike in February this year, and said "Let me tell you, Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently. Obviously that shows that Balakot was affected and damaged and destroyed. That is why people had got away from there," at a press conference. India's move had come after a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, which had killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers.

Rajnath said, "Don't worry, our force is fully prepared."

Pakistan's foreign office termed the allegations as "completely baseless" and said that it reflects "a desperate attempt" of India to divert international attention from the "humanitarian crisis" in Jammu and Kashmir, it said, adding that New Delhi will not "succeed in misleading the world community through these diversionary tactics".

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2019 13:35:44 IST