Toughness in dealing terrorism: Modi | The Daily Star
06:06 PM, March 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:11 PM, March 01, 2019

Toughness in dealing terrorism: Modi

Three days after Indian war planes hit a terror camp in Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today drove home his government’s tough posture in dealing with terrorism and said “India will longer be helpless in the wake of terror.”

Addressing an election rally in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu state, he said “every Indian is proud of Abhinandan Varthaman”, the Indian Air Force pilot who shot down a Pakistani fighter plane F-16 in a dog-fight a couple of days ago before his own aircraft was hit.

The pilot was downed and captured by Pakistan. Modi made it a point to mention that Abhinandan hails from Tamil Nadu, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Modi attacked some opposition parties for “suspecting” the Indian armed forces and India’s fight against terror and contrasted the tough action his government has taken against terror and the “inaction” of the previous Congress party-led government.

Taking a jibe at the Congress-led UPA government, Modi said when the Mumbai terror attack of Novermber 26, 2008 took place, India expected action against terrorists but nothing happened.

In this context, he pointed out how during his government’s rule the Indian army carried out a surgical strike on terror infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after an Indian army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, was attacked by terrorists killing 19 people in September 2016.

He also upheld how after the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 this year was dealt by Indian Air Force fighter jets targeting a terror camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakote in Pakistan.

“You saw what our brave men did. I salute all those who are serving the nation. Their vigilance keeps our nation secure,” Modi said.

He said India has been facing the menace of terrorism for years. “But there is a big difference now… India will no longer be helpless in the wake of terror. From 2004 to 2014 there were several terror attacks. The nation expected perpetrators to be punished but nothing happened.”

In an apparent reference to questions raised by some opposition parties seeking proof and details of the Indian Air Force’s attack on the terror camp in Balakote, Modi said: “sadly, a few parties, guided by Modi hatred have started hating India. No wonder, while the entire nation supports our armed forces, they suspect the armed forces. The world is supporting India’s fight against terror but a few parties suspect our fight against terror.”

He asked these parties to clarify if they believe the Indian armed forces or “those forces who support terrorism” on Indian soil. “I want to tell them--Modi will come and go, India will remain. Please stop weakening India to strengthen your own politics.”

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