We are fully prepared for any escalation: Parrikar

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Amid soaring tempers on both sides of the border between India and Pakistan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said India was prepared for “any escalation”.

“We are fully prepared for any escalation. My mother used to say if you go to the forest hunting for a rabbit, be prepared to face the tiger as well,” Parrikar told CNN NEWS18 channel in an interview aired on Sunday.

The situation has been tense on the Line of Control (LoC) after the September 18 Uri attack on an Indian army base camp and the Indian retaliation on the terrorist launch pads through a cross-border “surgical strike” on the intervening night of September 28-29.

However, Parrikar refused to say anything beyond what Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) has said on the surgical strike.

“I would only say that it was successful operation. I would not comment beyond the stated official position because it’s a very sensitive issue… The DGMO has already given all the details in his statement,” Parrikar said.

On India’s relations with China in the light of China’s proximity to Pakistan, Parrikar said that a country’s closeness to a particular nation does not stop it from having relations with other nations, and that India’s relations with China have improved over the years.

“We are concerned about (certain) issues, but I think our relations with China are better today. The border management is better. We are employing more confidence building measures,” he said.

He added that China’s refusal to acknowledge remarks made by Pakistani media that China would side with Pakistan in case of a tussle with India is a diplomatic victory for India.

“China’s statement (that they do not know of any senior government functionary pledging support to Pakistan) is a victory for our diplomacy vis-a-vis China,” Parrikar said.

He said that thanks to its diplomatic efforts, India now has more international support against terrorism.

–IANS

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