Jammu: In a veiled warning to Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India is getting more powerful and if the need arises, it can hit on this side of the border and also by going across.
Addressing a security conclave at the University of Jammu, he asserted that the country has taken major action against terrorism under the Modi government and referred to the surgical strikes carried out across the border in 2016 and the Balakot air strike in 2019.
“Bharat ab pehle jaisa Bharat nahi raha. Bharat takatwar banta jaa raha hai. Zaroorat padi to Bharat seema ke iss par bhi maar sakta hai aur zaroorat padi toh uss paar bhi jaa sakta hai (India is not the same as it used to be. It is getting more powerful. If needed, India can hit on this side of the border and can go across the border as well,” the defence minister said.
He also said that Prime Minister Modi took just 10 minutes to decide on the surgical strikes.
“Pulwama and Uri were both unfortunate incidents… Prime Minister took just 10 minutes to take a decision (on carrying out surgical strikes) which shows his strong will power. Our forces not only neutralised the terrorists on this side, but also went across the border to finish them,” he said amid an applause from the audience.
Terrorists attacked an army camp in border town of Uri in September 2016, resulting in the killing of 19 soldiers. A fortnight later, the Indian Army carried out a surgical strike across the border and destroyed launch pads for terrorists.
In February 2019, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a suicide attack on their convoy by terrorists in Pulwama district of south Kashmir. Twelve days after the attack, the Indian Air Force (AIF) destroyed the terrorist camp in Balakote in Pakistan.
The defence minister said Jammu and Kashmir has suffered the brunt of terrorism for long.
“People here know how the poison of terrorism hollows out the society,” he said.
Singh said it would not be an exaggeration to say that the Modi-led government has laid the strong foundation for “revolutionary reforms” in the country, which is the biggest achievement of this government.
“I remember the words of Modi at his oath ceremony in 2014 when he said ‘saughandh iss mitti ki desh nahi mitne doonga, desh nahi jhookne doonga ((I vow on this country’s soil, I won’t let the country be erased, I won’t let the country stop, I won’t let the country bow down),” he said, adding the prime minister has kept his pledge in letter and spirit.