Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a veiled warning to Pakistan in his Dussehra address in Lucknow on Tuesday saying those who harbour and shelter terrorists will also not be spared now. To avoid any controversy, the prime minister and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh cleverly avoided any mention of the recently conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Pakistan.
PM Modi saved himself from a spree of sharp criticisms by abstaining from mentioning the surgical strikes in his address. There were speculations that the PM would mention the September 29 strike as Uttar Pradesh is going to polls next year. Had he done so, several fingers would’ve pointed at him for exploiting the issue as a poll plank. However, by saying “India is no longer looked at as a weak country”, Rajnath Singh gave subtle hints that the topic may find its way in election rallies in the coming days.
Modi reiterated his intentions of ridding India of terrorism–a menace that is out to destroy humanity. The PM said that “nobody should be under the impression that they are untouched by terrorism” adding that it is “out to destroy humanity”. His statement that terrorism is a global threat and it has no boundaries and that the global community needs to work together to work against terrorism indicated that his government will be open to carrying out further operations to eradicate terrorists in future.
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Breaking from the past, PM Modi attended the Ramlila event away from the capital on Dussehra. During the play, several characters enacted references to the surgical strikes. The PM was also presented a bow and an arrow apart from a mace and Sudarshan Chakra as gifts.
The event carried forward with religious overtones but Modi stuck to his fight against terrorism theme even mentioning the genocide in Syria in between to show his global outlook towards terrorism, even hinting that leaving situations unaddressed escalate to situations like the presently prevalent ones in the Middle East.
Although Modi didn’t mention Pakistan, the warning to India’s neighbour was clear. The address came in the light of terrorist attacks occurring almost daily in Jammu and Kashmir. Mumbai was put on terror alert on Dussehra and reports indicate that the terrorist groups are working tirelessly to strike India.