Panaji:Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the armed forces in Kashmir have complete power to shoot at those wielding guns, instead of waiting for the terrorists to open fire and “getting martyred”.
“When I took over as the defence minister, the first thing I told them (soldiers) that if you see machine gun or pistol in anyone’s hand, don’t expect that he has come to say hello to you. Before you get martyred, you should eliminate him,” Parrikar said addressing BJP’s election rally at Vasco last evening.
“In Kashmir, our army was fighting terrorists. The Congress government had given them direction that till they (terrorist) fires bullet on you, you shouldn’t retaliate,” he said, claiming that the morale of the army has gone up since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has come to power.
In the backdrop of ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Parrikar said the Indian troops have complete power and they are giving apt reply to the enemy.
“Now, our soldiers don’t need to seek permission from the Defence Ministry to fire at the person who fires at them. They have complete power and they are giving apt reply to our enemy. I feel bad that some of our soldiers are martyred,” the former chief minister said.
Parrikar said it took almost six to eight months for him to understand the functioning of the ministry.
“Initially, I couldn’t understand how the defence ministry works. It took 6-8 months for me to understood,” the former Goa chief minister said.