‘No sensitive material on chopper that strayed into Pakistan’ (Lead)

October 25th, 2011 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 25 (IANS) There was no sensitive information on board an Indian Army chopper that inadvertently strayed into Pakistan, the defence ministry said Tuesday, adding it was ensuring there were adequate safeguards for the country’s protection.

“There is no secret information in any helicopter. It is regular information that is needed for any machine. So I do not think that is the case,” Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju said

The comment came in the wake of a report that the country’s security has been breached as Pakistan Army downloaded confidential information on helipads along the borders after the Cheetah helicopter strayed into Pakistani Kashmir and was forced to land Sunday.

According to the report, India’s security was breached in the sensitive Siachen Glacier-Aksai Chin-Ladakh-Kargil sector as the Pakistani Army downloaded GPS coordinates of the helipads in the area from the Indian chopper.

Raju also said the ministry was taking adequate safeguards for the country’s protection.

“We are taking the safeguards for the nation’s protection. We are improving our preparedness,” he said.

“We are taking every precaution to maintain confidentiality of what is important. At the same time we are also stepping up our defence preparedness,” said Raju, who was here to launch the country’s second indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmat built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd.

The Cheetah helicopter with four officers on board returned to Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir after the Pakistani authorities let it go. India was prompt to appreciate Pakistan’s understanding.

Asked if this gesture will improve relations between the two countries, the minister said: “This is an isolated incident. The helicopter had strayed because of bad weather conditions. But I think Pakistan has to do much more to demonstrate that they are friendly neighbours.”

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