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Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore calls surgical strikes ‘pre-emptive’ action

Rathore said the surgical strikes were not a military operation but anti-terrorist exercise.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: September 29, 2016 6:27:28 pm
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Terming the surgical strikes carried out by the army a “pre-emptive action” aimed against terrorists, Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore Thursday said no territorial violations have been committed during the operations since PoK is very much a part of India. He said the surgical strikes were not a military operation but anti-terrorist exercise “and LoC will not prevent us from carrying out an anti-terror operation”.

He said India is “not fond” of going into such offensives and acts with great restraint but will take action to protect its citizens.

“If you force us, we will. To protect our nation, we will stand together and carry out pre-emptive strikes. Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is very much part of India. Therefore, we have not committed any territorial violations,” he said.

Speaking about the army’s action across the LoC, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made efforts to create an ambiance of friendship “but this should not be treated as weakness”.

“If our citizens are threatened, we will attack,” he said, adding it was a counter-terrorist operation.

“The terrorists were about to infiltrate into India and cause havoc and kill innocents. So it’s a pre-emptive strike that has been carried out in forward camps very close to the Line of Control,” Rathore added.

The Minister, himself a retired Colonel, said it’s important for Pakistan to realise that these terrorists are a threat to the entire humanity including that country.

“They call them non-state actors, so if they cannot prevent such attacks, India will protect itself. I think it is very critical to understand that this is an act of extreme restraint,” Rathore said.

Speaking about the operation, he said it seems there was intelligence about the terrorists grouping together after which military took action for protecting the country.

He expressed hope that Pakistan would realise that terrorists are threat to them as well and would rein them in.

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