India takes seriously any comment from Pakistan on peace: Nirmala Sitharaman

NEW DELHI: Any call for peace from Pakistan will be taken seriously by India, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here today, in the backdrop of Pakistan Army Chief favouring talks to resolve disputes with India.

“Any comment on wanting peace will definitely be taken seriously,” Sitharaman told reporters on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ workshop on ‘Artificial Intelligence in National Security and Defence’ on artificial intelligence when asked about Pakistan Army’s recent indication of supporting peaceful resolution of disputes between the two countries through talks.

Last month, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had said that a peaceful resolution of disputes, including Kashmir, would be possible through talks between the two countries.

When asked about the recent incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan and whether India would stick to its decision to suspend operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan, the minister said the armed forces will abide by what was announced by the Centre.

“We shall fully honour the policy which the Home Ministry on behalf of the government of India announced. The policy has clearly laid out how it is going to pan out and we shall abide by everything that was announced,” Sitharaman said on the sidelines of the event.

Last week, the Home Ministry announced that the security forces will not launch any operations in J&K during Ramzan, but reserve the right to retaliate if attacked. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed the Centre’s decision. A similar initiative was taken in 2000 when the Centre had announced a Non Initiation of Combat Operation from November 2000 to May 2001. But it was during this time that the Srinagar airport came under a fidayeen attack.

Meanwhile, the defence minister while addressing the workshop said that one of the main challenges faced by the defence forces is how to use artificial intelligence when there is a lack of infrastructure to support it.

“The task force should be able to tell us where the defence forces are today, such as bridging with the private sector. The task force should be able to tell us what is it that will encourage yet regulate the use of the AI in defence forces. The challenges identified is the lack of infrastructure to enable the use of AI. I would place cyber, nuclear and space high on this agenda.”

A task force has been setup under the chairmanship of Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran

to study the strategic implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) application on national security and defence needs.