NEW DELHI — The Indian army has been instructed to neutralise any armed intruder or terrorist trying to infiltrate into Indian side, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here on Thursday.
India will do whatever it takes to check terrorism, Parrikar said at 'Manthan' conclave organised by news channel Aaj Tak, adding that terrorists cannot be treated on humanitarian ground.
Answering a question if India would give a befitting reply to Mumbai like terror attack, the minister said the intention was not to let such incident be repeated.
"If any country, why only Pakistan, is planning anything against my country, I will take proactive steps. Whatever we have to do, we will do it. Whether it is diplomatic, whether it is pressure tactics... Or as it is said 'kante se kanta nikalna padta (you need to remove a thorn with a thorn)."
"You have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it, we should do it. Why my soldier has to bleed all the time," the minister said, adding that "these are issues which cannot be discussed beyond this point".
"I can only say that anyone trying to infiltrate will be neutralised," he said. "A terrorist who comes with a gun cannot be treated on humanitarian ground."
He, however, added that instructions have been given to take precaution that there is no "collateral damage" and that no Indian soldiers die. "Take precaution there is no collateral damage. Don't touch civilians."
Asked what has changed after the NDA government assumed power at the Centre, the minister said: "Porosity on borders is less; intelligence has improved."
"I will stand by the army at any cost," Parrikar added.
Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China as "positive", Parrikar said no proper demarcation of international border leads to problems. "But it is not a matter of great tension... It will be resolved though talks," he added.
On one-rank-one-pension scheme, the minister said he cannot give the date for announcing the scheme, but added that the proposal is now with the finance ministry.
The defence minister also said he would submit his proposal regarding chief of defence staff by the end of next month which would push forward seamless integration of India's defence forces which was need of the hour.
Talking about future of India's defence forces, Parrikar said: "We are striving to create a more efficient force which may not be necessarily big. We need to spend more on 'effective' personnel."
"In long term, India should have a slightly trimmer but more efficient and better equipped force. We need to create capabilities to meet our future needs. India can have territorial type of structure which can be scaled up in case of emergency."