Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday accused Pakistan of trying to divide India again along religious lines, but stressed it would never succeed. All Indian Hindus and Muslims were brothers — and if Pakistan did not stop aiding terror, it would instead find itself splintered into “10 parts”, Singh said.
“Mugaalte mein hai yeh Pakistan ki hum mazhab ke aadhaar par phir se Bharat ko baant denge. Pehle hi 1947 mein mazhab ke aadhaar par Bharat ka vibhaajan ho gaya, lekin aaj bhi apna dil usey sweekaar nahin karta hai. Hamara dil yeh kehta hai ki chahe Hindu ho, Musalmaan ho, jo bhi Bharat Mata ki kokh se paida hue hain, woh… sabhi ek doosre ki bhai-bhai hain (Pakistan is under the wrong impression that it can divide India again on the basis of religion. India was divided on religious lines in 1947, but our heart refuses to accept it. Our heart says that anyone born in India, whether Hindu or Muslim, are brothers.),” he said.
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Speaking at a Shahidi Diwas function here in memory of soldiers who had laid down their lives for the country, the home minister stressed that despite repeated disappointments, India continued to seek peace with Pakistan — and was prepared to help that country rid itself of the scourge of terror if only it would ask. Pakistan, the home minister said, was perhaps unaware that it was only in India that all the 72 sects of Islam were practised. “…Kisi Islamic desh mein bhi Islam ke 72 ke 72 firke nahin paye jaate hain. Islam ke 72 firke agar duniya ke kisi ek desh ki dharti par paye jaate hain to hamare aur aapke desh ki dharti Bharat mein paaye jaate hain… (Not even in Islamic countries are all the 72 sects of Islam found. If there is a country in the world that is home to all 72 sects, it is your and my country, India.).”
That the Islamic State had failed to find traction in India was due to the Muslims of India, Singh said. “Being home minister of India, I know the truth, and I can say that ISIS has not been able to get a foothold in India. The credit goes to the Muslims of India, and the followers of Islam,” he said. “People may not be aware that if someone’s child gets radicalised, they approach us for help… If they (the youths) go outside (the country), they inform us.” Some families had met him to request him to do something in the matter, the minister said. “We need to understand this sentiment as well.”
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in taking everybody along, Singh said. “Kaisi hukumat, jis hukumat ke rehtey hue koi vyakti dara hua mehsoos kare, sehma hua mehsoos apne ko kare, kaisi hukumat? (Which government is it in which someone feels afraid? What kind of government (is it)?),” Singh said. “Being home minister of India and on the basis of my understanding of the feelings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I can assure that we will take everybody along,” he said.
The home minister advised Pakistan to stop aiding terror against India, lest it is divided again — into “10 parts”. But India would have no hand in such a division of Pakistan, he said — history is witness to the fact that India has never had expansionist intentions, and has always believed in universal brotherhood. “We understand the reality that Pakistan is our neighbour and that friends may change in life, but not neighbours,” Singh said. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said this repeatedly, but Pakistan had failed to understand him, Singh said. “Even after the Kargil war, Vajpayee extended a hand of friendship towards Pakistan.”
When Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi, it was “not only to shake hands, but to have a union of hearts”, Singh said. “Not only that, breaking protocol, our Prime Minister went to Pakistan to attend a ceremony in the family of Nawaz Sharif.” Pakistan, Singh said, had failed to understand India’s (good) intentions. “What does it want? What shall we do? We keep opening our heart to it so that we can live in peace for the sake of the development of each other and all other neighbouring countries.”
But “what has (Pakistan) given us in return,” he asked. “They gave us Gurdaspur, they gave us Pathankot and they gave us Uri”, he answered himself, referring to terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016. He added that Indian troops had responded to the cowardly attack in Uri by carrying out cross LoC surgical strikes that sent out the message that India was capable of killing terrorists there as well.
“If Pakistan is unable to control terror and wants help from us, then India is ready to cooperate. But let Pakistan at least ask,” Singh said. However, Pakistan “was not prepared to do so”, he added. “What shall we do? How many times shall we open our hearts? Even today, even though Pakistan has not cooperated with us, we want to live in peace and amity with it. We want peace, but we will not compromise with terrorism at any cost,” he said.