Indian armed forces have responded appropriately to acts of aggression from across the border, whether it is firing across the LoC or mutilation of a soldier’s body, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.
Parrikar also said that the armed forces were able to respond with such gusto only because the National Democratic Alliance government allowed them the freedom to respond appropriately.
“For the last two years, all I did was, I told our armed forces that if someone attacks you, you are free to reply appropriately... Look at the result of this one decision. Whenever we were attacked, our brave soldiers replied appropriately, be it surgical strikes, Line of Control (LoC) firing, or jawan’s mutilated body,” Parrikar told a poll rally in South Goa’s Sanvordem constituency.
“The Indian Army gave such a powerful response that in the end, they asked us to maintain peace. For the last four days, there has been no firing on the border,” he said.
In a candid admission, Parrikar also said he was “shivering” on his first in office as defence minister though he tried to put up a brave face.
“When I went to Delhi, I took experience of that city. I became defence minister with the blessings of you all. I was not knowing anything,” Parrikar said.
“Let me admit, I was shivering on the first day (of taking charge). I put up a brave face banking on my experience, but in reality I didn’t even had knowledge about the rank of military officers,” he said.
Parrikar was chief minister of Goa before his induction into the Union cabinet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Goa’s brush with the military was during 1961 when Indian Army liberated the state from Portuguese rule. After that we saw 1965 and 1971 wars. During the Kargil war, I have given slogans but in reality I was unaware about what is war and what is the preparedness required for that,” he said.
The minister said he realised that “armament stores are empty and government had tied hands of the soldiers”.
“So we took the measures required.”