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Pakistan continuing with nefarious activities, Jaitley tells armed forces

IANS | New Delhi |

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that Pakistan continues with its “nefarious activities” of sponsoring cross border terrorism using the Indian territory occupied by it.

Addressing the armed forces in a message on the eve of the 71st Independence Day, he said huge causalties occurred to such terrorists, their supporters and the launch pads during surgical strike by the Indian Army on September 29, 2016.

“Despite our repeated requests to our western neighbour not to use our territory occupied by it not only to train terrorists but also use it as launch pad for pushing these militants into India, such nefarious activities continued. We ran out of patience as these terrorists were not only targeting our Armed Forces but also civilians,” Jaitley said.

In his message to Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel through All India Radio, he said that nation is forever indebted to those who laid down their lives protecting it and the Government “will do all that is necessary to keep your morale high and to meet your functional requirements”.

Without naming Pakistan or mentioning the ongoing tension between India and China at Doklam, he said that the nation now looks towards its forces to defend its border with all their might “so that all our people sleep in peace tonight so that we all see a new dawn together, tomorrow and to take our country to new heights of peace and prosperity for all our people”.

Stressing the nation is indebted to the sacrifices of soldiers, Jaitley said that the Government is committed for their welfare.

He said that the Government has taken a decision on recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission on Allowances, which will benefit 14 lakh Defence Forces personnel.

These include hiking rates of Siachen Allowance for extreme risk and hardship from Rs.14,000 per month to Rs.30,000 per month; and Counter Insurgency Operations Allowance increased from between Rs.3,000 and 11,700 per month to between Rs.6,000 and 16,900 per month.

On the One Rank One Pension scheme, of which benefits started reaching ex-servicemen and families since last year, Jaitley said that government will also look into the anomalies.

He further said that to help create a spirit of respect for our real heroes, the government has launched a campaign to have a ‘Wall of Valour’ in 1,000 educational institutions across the country.