Days after the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase which India suspects was carried out by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Monday any “individual or organisation” harming the country “should also receive the pain of such activities” and “how, when and where should be your choice”.
Speaking in New Delhi at a seminar ahead of the 68th Army Day — the gathering included Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh and senior officers — Parrikar said: “I am of the opinion, it should not be taken as a government thinking, I always believe that if anyone harms you, he understands the same language.”
“How, when and where should be of your choice but if someone is harming this country, then that particular individual or organisation, I purposely used the words individual and organisation, should also receive the pain of such activities.”
Speaking to reporters later, Parrikar said: “History tells (us) that those who damage you, if they don’t realise what pain they inflict, then they don’t change.”
Asked to elaborate, he later said, “Basic principle is that until we give them pain, whoever they may be, until then, such incidents will not reduce.”
Referring to the Pathankot attack, he said the country was proud of its seven soldiers who laid down their lives but he was pained by the loss.
“I don’t appreciate it. I have said that it is time we tell our soldiers that it is inevitable that we will lose some soldiers, and in this incident we lost one person in actual combat. We should tell them to think of the concept of taking life of your enemy, enemy of the country, instead of giving your life. This is an important aspect,” he said.
He said while sacrifice is respected, what the nation needs is to “neutralise” the enemy.
Asked if that means there is a change in policy from the previous UPA government, Parrikar said, “If someone comes and hammers you, you should keep quiet? Was that the policy?”
“What I am saying is basically that history tells you that those who damage you, if they don’t realise what pain they inflict, then they don’t change,” he said.