Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the surgical strikes carried out across the LoC proved that India would not hesitate to take the toughest measures to defend itself, while noting that no country in the world had questioned it — an apparent swipe at Pakistan.
Addressing Indian-Americans at a reception in Virginia, Modi asserted that India has been successful in convincing the world about “the face of terrorism that is destroying peace and normal life” in the country.
“When we talked of terrorism 20 years back, many in the world said it was a law and order problem and didn’t understand it. Now terrorists have explained terrorism to them so we don’t have to,” he said.
Modi said the surgical strikes demonstrated that India, which normally follows the principle of restraint, can also defend its sovereignty and ensure its security when needed. “When India carried out the surgical strikes, the world realised our strength and saw that while we exercise restraint, when the need arises, India can also show its strength and might in dealing with terror and protecting itself,” he said to thunderous applause from the diaspora.
India conducted surgical strikes on terror pads across the Line of Control on September 29 last year, 11 days after the Uri attack which claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.
The Prime Minister said that the world could have put India in the dock for carrying out the attack accoss the LoC. “But for the first time not one nation in the world raised a single question, about India’s major step to conduct the surgical strikes against terror camps on Pakistani soil.”
“It is a different matter for those who had to suffer due to the surgical strikes,” Modi said, taking another jibe at Pakistan, amid laughter from the audience.
The Prime Minister had some choice barbs for China as well, saying India does not believe in disturbing the global order to achieve its goals.
“This is India’s tradition and culture,” he noted, apparently referring to China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.
“We are bound by international law because that is our character and nature. For us the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — the world is one family — are not just words.
This is our nature and character,” he said.
The Prime Minister said India, while following international laws and norms, is also capable of taking the “toughest of steps for our sovereignty, security, peace, our people and progress”.
“Whenever the need arises we have done it and the world will never be able to stop us,” he said.