A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took on Pakistan by naming Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in his Independence Day address, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar equated “going to Pakistan” with “going to hell”.
Addressing a rally Tuesday in Rewari in Haryana — the event was part of the Yaad Karo Qurbani campaign to mark 70 years of Independence — Parrikar slammed Pakistan, accusing it of promoting terrorism and repeatedly attempting to disrupt peace in India.
“Because there was infiltration happening from across the border, our soldiers yesterday sent back five persons. Going to Pakistan and going to hell is the same thing. So, you can understand where these five persons were sent. But Pakistan keeps trying. They promoted terrorism… They are bearing the consequences of that terrorism themselves,” he said.
“They (Pakistan) started a thousand-cut theory… it means inflicting small wounds… If you cannot make a big wound, at least shed blood by making small wounds to reduce India’s power. Our Army is fighting against this. We need to increase our Army’s confidence, otherwise the Independence that we attained, we shall not be able to maintain it.”
Referring to repeated infiltration attempts from Pakistan, Parrikar said, “There is a thing that if the person (infiltrator) possesses a weapon, he is a terrorist. We need to see that by mistake some civilian should not cross over. If he is a civilian, we should catch him, send him back. But if somebody is infiltrating with a weapon, he will be a terrorist. You should not wait for him to attack and kill you… you fire 10 bullets if he fires one.”
“Our soldiers are fighting back to ensure that the enemy does not succeed in its evil designs. The soldiers and the Army have been given more powers to tackle the enemy as the situation warrants. We have given them good weapons to protect themselves and ensure the safety of the country. Greater emphasis is being laid on manufacturing weapons in the country instead of importing them,” Parrikar said.
He was accompanied by Minister of State Rao Inderjit Singh. A Haryana government statement later quoted Parrikar as saying that an announcement regarding the opening of an Army recruitment office in Rewari will be made after obtaining necessary information and ensuring there is no legal obstacle.