Informed Pakistan about surgical strikes before we told Indian media: Modi

Speaking at Central Hall Westminster in London, PM Narendra Modi said India will not tolerate those who like to export terror and will give back “strong answers”.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 07:50 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
PM Modi,Surgical strikes,Central Hall Westminster
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street in London, on April 18, 2018. (Reuters)

Insisting that India has changed after his government came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday warned Pakistan against exporting terror, and said poverty cannot be eradicated by slogans such as ‘garibi hatao’ but by hard work on the ground.

Addressing members of the Indian community at Central Hall in Westminster during ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ event that was telecast live, Modi recounted the achievements of his government in areas such as health and the supply of gas and electricity.

Modi paid tribute to 12th century philosopher Basaweshwara and drew much applause while expounding on the surgical strikes conducted by Indian special forces across the Line of Control in 2016. He recalled that India first informed Pakistan about the strikes before announcing them to the media.

“I said before India gets to know, we should call Pakistan and tell them. We were calling them since 11 am but they were scared to come on phone, at 12 we spoke to them and then told the Indian media,” he said.

“Those who like exporting terror, I want to tell them that India has changed and their antics will not be tolerated anymore. This is Modi. When someone has put a terror export factory in place and makes attempts to attack us from the back, Modi knows how to answer in the same language,” Modi said.

Citing India’s history, Modi said that India never looked to capture anyone else’s territory.

“During World War I and II, we had no stake but our soldiers took part in the wars. These were big sacrifices. Look at our role in UN peacekeeping forces,” Modi said.

Asked what he thought of some people questioning the valour of the Army, Modi said he does not want to use the stage to criticise anyone.

“I just hope, God gives them wisdom,” he said.

Referring to recent incidents of rape, Modi said the matter should not be politicised. “A little girl is raped, it’s such a painful incident. But will we say ‘these many (rapes) happened during your government’s rule and these many in mine’? There can’t be an approach more wrong.

“A rape is a rape. How can we tolerate such cruelty to a daughter?” he added

He recalled stating at his first Independence Day address that questions should be asked of sons about their actions and whereabouts, not only of daughters.

Rape, he said, was a matter of shame for a country: “This is a matter of great concern for the country and these sinners are somebody’s sons...The rape is a matter of worry, a shame for the country.”

Noting that he did not want to use the platform to attack political opponents, Modi, however, said there were thousands of villages that remained without electricity under Congress rule, while his government had lit up the remotest parts of the country.

According to him, there is a major difference (‘zameen-asman ka faraq’) in the actions of his government and that of the preceding UPA governments. He recalled promising the country that he would never act with a bad intention and since he was inexperienced, he would make mistakes.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 23:34 IST