SRINAGAR — Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Jammu on Wednesday morning to personally evaluate the situation prevailing in the Rajouri-Poonch region following the recent ambush that claimed the lives of four soldiers in Dera Ki Gali, Rajouri district.
An unnamed official, quoted by the news agency KNO, said that Singh, accompanied by Army Chief General Manoj Pande, was received by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha upon their arrival.
After landing in Jammu, the Defence Minister, along with senior officials, left for Rajouri to assess the ongoing anti-terror operation and the security landscape in the area.
Rajnath Singh urges amiable relationship with civilians
Meanwhile, during his visit to Rajouri, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized the significance of maintaining harmonious relations between the military and the civilian populace.
Addressing soldiers during his interaction, Singh underscored the importance of avoiding civilian casualties during counter-militancy operations and acknowledged the pivotal role of soldiers in combating militancy.
He reassured the soldiers, stating, “Every soldier is part of our family; your efforts are instrumental in winning battles and eradicating militancy. We will endeavour to win the hearts of all citizens. You (soldiers) all have a huge responsibility on your shoulders, and for that, we will always be grateful to you.”
However, amidst these deliberations, the region continues to grapple with the suspension of mobile internet services.
Farooq Abdullah expresses doubts ahead of Rajnath Singh’s visit
In a contrasting perspective, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah expressed scepticism regarding Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Jammu, particularly in addressing recent incidents, such as the civilian deaths in Poonch.
Speaking in Kulgam, Abdullah stated, “I have no expectations from his visit. Can he bring back the dead? Does he have that power? But he can do this much that such injustice is not repeated.”
Abdullah expressed his anticipation for the Defence Minister to offer solace to the affected families. Additionally, he touched upon the need for talks between India and Pakistan, emphasizing the importance of dialogue to ensure friendly relations between the two nations.
While addressing concerns about the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine, Abdullah highlighted the criticality of international intervention for the cessation of conflicts and the desire for peaceful resolutions.