Home minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday Pakistan must stop its "nefarious activities" if it wants its "own welfare", asking the neighbour country to stop meddling in India's affairs.
Addressing a rally in Jan Kalyan Parv in Jammu, he said he would give a befitting reply to all those who wanted to harm India's pride, integrity and sovereignty.
"We trust our army, our paramilitary and our forces. No question can be raised on their integrity and love for the country," he said.
Singh said India has always extended a hand of friendship towards its neighbouring countries including Pakistan, which always resorted to "backstabbing".
"Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship towards Pakistan, but it stabbed in the back. Then when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over the office a year ago, he invited all the heads of the state of the neighbouring countries to the swearing-in ceremony including the Pakistan Prime Minister," he said.
He said the government had given open orders to the armed forces especially the BSF to respond with all its might to any aggression from across the border.
Watch:Rajnath Singh says Pakistan must stop meddling in India's affairs for its own welfare
"In October last year, Pakistan resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation. I saw on television that five of our citizens have died. I asked the Director General, BSF, to make sure that we are not the first to open fire. But if we are fired at from across the border, then Pakistani side must get a befitting reply with full might," he said.
Singh said that it was the response from the Indian side that Pakistan was forced to go to the United Nations to request it to intervene and ask India to stop firing on them.
"There are 72 sects in Islam and there is no other country in the world except India where all of them live together. The first church in the world was constructed in Kerala some 2000 years ago. The Parsi community got so much of respect in this country and Jews say that India was the only country in the world where they were not persecuted," he said.
He said that India strongly believes that every country in the world must progress and India believes in living in communal harmony.
Protests and slogans
The minister's visit to militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir was marked by protests organised by the AIIMS Coordination Committee, which carried banners and raised slogans against Singh.
"We want to send a message to the Union government that any injustice with the people of Jammu or the Jammu region cannot be tolerated... be it the issue of the shifting of AIIMS from Jammu to Kashmir or the shelving of the artificial lake project, people in Jammu will protest the injustice," Abhinav Sharma, president of the Jammu and Kashmir high court Bar Association, Jammu, said.
Markets across Jammu and adjoining districts remained closed with public transport remaining off the roads, though some private vehicles were seen.
Attendance at offices remained minimal while several schools and colleges across the region had declared a holiday and postponed examinations that were scheduled for today. The AIIMS coordination committee has threatened to intensify the agitation if the government does not sanction AIIMS for Jammu.
To end the controversy, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had on Tuesday proposed the setting up of AIIMS at a place central to the three regions of the state.
The shifting of AIIMS from Jammu to Kashmir has snowballed into a major controversy in Jammu region as the people in the region are already up in arms against the state and the central government for following an appeasemnet policy for Kashmir region.