Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said he believed in “barging into the houses of terrorists and killing them” as he vowed to find out those responsible for terror attacks in India “even if they hide in bowels of the earth”.
Modi’s comments indicated that last week’s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp in Pakistan won’t be India’s last such action against terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country. He targeted the opposition for playing “vote-bank politics” and not taking steps to curb terrorism that has been hurting India for 40 years when they were in power. “They (the opposition) say it is a game of election. Where was election when we carried out surgical strikes for the first time (in September 2016)? ‘Ye hamara siddhant hai, ki ghar mein ghus kar maarenge’ (it is our principle that we will kill them by barging into their house),” he asserted.
“I am not going to spare them even if they hide in the bowels of the earth (saatve pataal),” he said in his address, seen as a fresh warning to Pakistan. Recalling the bomb blasts carried out at the civil hospital premises here in July 2008 and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Modi said the then government at the Centre should have taken revenge and taught Pakistan a lesson. “Terrorism came from across the border. Was it not the responsibility of people at the Centre to take revenge?” he asked, referring to the bomb blasts at the civil hospital and other places in Ahmedabad.
“If the government then had courage, it could have avenged the deaths of innocent people at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Innocent people were killed in 26/11 in Mumbai. And we came back to normal after a few days,” he said, addressing a gathering here. Modi asked the opposition not to politicise the issue of strike carried out on terrorist camps in Pakistan by the Indian Air Force, and asked them whether or not they trust the country’s armed forces and what they say.
“No country can stay in such helpless condition. For 40 years, terrorism has been hurting India, the hearts of Bharat Ma, innocent people are being killed. But people playing vote-bank politics are scared to take steps,” he said. “I do not care about the chair (of Prime Minister). I care about our country. I have protected the country’s people,” he added. The PM asked opposition leaders to desist from giving statements that hog limelight in the Pakistani media.
“What our opposition leaders say becomes the headlines of Pakistan newspapers. Such leaders say things which are shown on Pakistan TV, are discussed in Pakistan parliament.” “Is it in the interest of the country? Will you say such things over which Pakistan will clap?” Modi asked. “Do you trust our country’s armed forces? Should we not trust what the military says? But there are some people who do not like what the military says.”
“I dont ask you to accept what I say, but at least do not distrust military and do not question their courage. They risk their life for the country and come back successfully,” Modi said. He said the opposition would have sought his resignation had something untoward happened to the military during the surgical strikes. “Suppose if something untoward had happened when our military went on the operation? What would they (the opposition) have done? Whose resignation they would have sought?” Modi asked.
“When we succeeded, they are shouting that Modi should not have named Army, he should not say Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” he said, adding that his government was committed to protect the country’s security and its interests. “The way we are committed to the country’s security and this war (on terrorism) we have waged, do understand that I will do whatever is necessary in the country’s interests,” he said. “Should we not fight terrorism and uproot it? Which party can do this? Tell me honestly who will do it? On the one had we are punishing those who do wrong and on the other hand we are punishing those who do their job honestly,” Modi said.