Terrorists in Kashmir under pressure, stone pelters have dwindled: Jaitley

New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that terrorists in Kashmir “are now under great pressure” and the number of stone pelters has “dwindled from hundreds and thousands to 20 or 30”.

To a query on the use of ISIS flags by terrorists in the Valley, Jaitley termed them “isolated incidents” and said that the country is “free from the menace of ISIS”.

He said his government wants India to become a global power in the defence manufacturing sector. “And towards that end, we are encouraging private players to come forward. We will, of course, also continue to strengthen our ordnance factories and defence PSUs.”

The Defence Minister, however, refused to make any comment on the current India-China Doklam standoff, and said: “I will not like to make any remark publicly given the current sensitive situation.”

Jaitley, who is also the Finance Minister, said that in next year’s Budget, his topmost priorities will be — national security and rural India.

Referring to last year’s incidents in Jawaharlal Nehru University, where anti-national slogans and speeches were allegedly made, Jaitley said that “some forces” in the country were trying to “weaken the state by criticising defence forces”.

“I can understand the Left leaders, when they support such anti-national elements, but when mainstream party leaders join them, it is disturbing,” he said.

“Can you imagine Indiraji (Gandhi) or Rajiv Gandhi or Narasimha Rao supporting such a move by any Congress leader?” he asked.

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