Terrorists in Kashmir were “now under great pressure” and the financial crunch caused by demonetisation and the crackdown of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on foreign funding have checked illegal activities in Jammu and Kashmir in a large scale, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday.

Mr Jaitley however refrained from making any comment on the standoff between India and China in Doklam, just saying “let us have full faith on our security forces”.

“Today no big militant can dream of committing terror acts and continue to terrorise the Valley for decades, but today their life shelf has dwindled to a few months. I will specifically praise the Jammu and Kashmir police for working hard (towards eliminating terrorists),” he said at an India TV conclave.

Mr Jaitley said the country faced two serious threats – one in Jammu and Kashmir with most of the incidents “happening from across the border” and the second being the problem of Left-Wing Extremism in central parts of the country.

“Since independence, Pakistan has never agreed that Kashmir is an integral part of India. That has been their unfinished agenda. They tried conventional war. But India’s capability was way ahead in the conventional war. The wars of 1965, 1971 and Kargil clearly proved this,” he said.

The defence minister said that security forces were constantly trying to clean up the Valley of terrorists.

He said terrorists have felt the pinch of demonetisation – the move to scrap large banknotes that the government announced last November – and have also felt the effect of the actions taken by the NIA against foreign funding allegedly used for subversive activities.

“Whenever there was an encounter (earlier), hundreds and thousands would come out to throw stones. Many a times, terrorists would escape under the protection of stone throwers. This is now becoming a history.

“Those who were coming in hundreds and thousands, today their number is limited to 20, 30 and 50. For the first time in the history, we have been they have started looting banks,” he said.

-Press Trust of India


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