Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said on Sunday that India is always prepared to “neutralise” its enemies, more specifically the 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim and the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, irrespective of where they are.
Rathore’s remarks came amid high-tensions in the bilateral relations after NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan collapsed in August.
While Saeed, who heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, is based in Lahore, Indian security officials believe Ibrahim, wanted for the 1993 Mumbai bombings, is sheltering in Karachi.
Rathore also talked about possibilities of any covert operation to nab the fugitives, but refused to talk anything more, saying he "might talk about it after it’s over".
But after his remarks were reported in media, Rathore said he was being misquoted. "Incorrect vers of my stmnts allegedly on Dawood attributed to me (sic)," he tweeted.
The interview involving crucial elements of national security also caused a stir across the border as Pakistan called Rathore's comments as "irresponsible and imprudent".