’42 terrorist camps on border should be disbanded’

Thiruvananthapuram, March 6 (IANS) Defence Minister A.K. Antony Saturday said 42 terrorist camps functioning on the border have to be disbanded by Pakistan for the India-Pakistan talks to be successful.

‘Pakistan has not made any serious attempt to disband the camps that are functioning close to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision for bilateral talks has been made consciously and it was not an ad hoc one,’ Antony told reporters after inaugurating the new office complex of the Coast Guard station at Vizhinjam near here.

‘Though there was no breakthrough, being a conscious decision, the process (of talks)will continue,’ he added.

The minister said the union home ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government have evolved a formula to check infiltration and bring back terrorists to normal life.

‘Many have surrendered too. With the conditions becoming normal, there is an increase in tourist arrivals in Kashmir. Attempts for terrorist infiltration are there and the armed forces are maintaining an eternal vigil on the border,’ he said.

On the US supply of arms to Pakistan, he said the US should make sure that the arms were used at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and not targeted against India.

On the Maoist issue, he denied that the government had any information on the Chinese aiding and abetting the Maoists.

‘The army will give logistic support to the State police (of Maoist-affected states). Paramilitary forces will be used for training the State police,’ said Antony.

He said the acquisition of defence equipments and aircraft has increased considerably in the past five years.

‘The process for acquiring the Kiev-class aircraft, Admiral Gorshkov, from Russia is in the final stage,’ added Antony.

He said that after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the threat through sea has increased and a coordinated effort of the forces as well as the government is being made to prevent such attacks.

‘One of the positive aspects is that even fishermen have become alert and are giving valuable tip-offs to the forces,’ said Antony.

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