Pak should 'sincerely' stop abetting terrorism: Antony

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 31 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said though there was peace on the Indo-Pak border, Pakistan should ''sincerely stop abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir'' for bringing lasting peace to the region.

Addressing mediapersons at the Southern Air Command here, he noted that though infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) had come down, it has not stopped.

''The inspiration that the terrorists get from Pakistan has not come down. The neighbouring country should sincerely think of stopping support to terrorist outfits,'' he said.

Mr Antony said though there was now peace on the borders, there was no room for complacency. ''Our forces are in combat readiness and we have to be alert.'' There would be no compromise on combat readiness of the Indian Armed Forces and most modern and sophisticated equipment would be provided to the forces on a fast track basis to better equip them, he added.

When asked about defence procurements, he said there was no delay in the way of the Armed Forces procuring the 'most modern' equipment but maintained that 'modernisation of the forces with transparency' was the motto.

On the new ''defence offset policy'' with private firms taking the role in defence procurement, Mr Antony said, that they could not rely on foreign countries for our weapons every time and hence indeginisation was needed.

''Even from the time of Nehru, there was a demand for Indianisation of weapons. So a public-private partnership is needed for developing our own weapons,'' he said.

The Ezhimala Naval Academy would be commissioned in 2008, he added.

This was the first ever visit by Mr Antony to the Southern Air Command after assuming charge as the Defence Minister.


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