Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Saturday that Pakistan had admitted to the “truth” that it was behind the Pulwama terror attack in 2019.
He said this admission in the Pakistan parliament — “wahan ki sansad mei satya sweekara gaya hai” — also exposed “the real face” of the Opposition parties at home. He said not only did they raise questions over the attack, but also made “distasteful” statements and “looked for political gains and interests” when the entire nation was in grief and mourning.
Speaking at the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas parade in Kevadia to mark the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Modi said he would urge “such political parties” to desist from “selfish politics” because by “playing into the hands of anti-national forces, knowingly or unknowingly, and becoming their pawns, they cannot protect the interest of the nation or their own party”.
His remarks came two days after Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry told his country’s National Assembly: “Humne Hindustan ko ghus ke maara hai (We entered India and hit them). Our success in Pulwama is a success of the people under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and I are all part of that success.”
In his address, the Prime Minister did not name Pakistan — he called it “neighbouring country” — and said India’s perspective on the borders has now changed, and soldiers are empowered to give a befitting response.
“While I was watching the parade by the paramilitary forces, watching their skills, the image of the Pulwama attack came to mind. The braves who were martyred in that attack were also from paramilitary forces. The country can never forget… when the entire country was in grief and mourning, there were some who were not part of that grief. They were the ones who looked for political gains and interests. The country can never forget the kind of talk that took place, the kind of statements that were made,” he said. Read in Malayalam
“The country can never forget that when it had been inflicted such a grievous wound, selfish and arrogant politics was at its height. I thought of the braves and stayed away, and silently endured the allegations, the distasteful talk. I had a deep wound in my heart because brave soldiers had laid down their lives. But now, there is news from the neighbouring country about the admission of the truth in their parliament. This has exposed the real face of these people,” he said.
He said it is time the world unites against terrorism. “For some time now, the conditions that have been created in several countries, the manner in which some people have come out in support of terrorism, these are matters of grave concern for humanity, the world and advocates of peace everywhere.”
“Given the situation, it is very important that all countries, governments, faiths unite against terrorism… India has been a victim of terrorism for several decades now… India has lost thousands of brave soldiers, innocent citizens, many mothers have lost sons, sisters their brothers. India understands the pain of terror. It is time that the entire world unites to defeat all forces who support terror or encourage terrorism,” he said.
Modi also referred to the abrogation of Article 370 and said that in a year since, Kashmir is “on the path of development”.
He said India has touched new heights of self-reliance in defence. “India is now moving towards becoming ‘atmanirbhar’ in the area of defence. We are keeping an eagle eye on our borders. Our perspective has also changed. No longer can anyone cast an evil eye on Indian territory. Our brave soldiers have been empowered to give a befitting reply. Today’s India is building hundreds of kilometres of roads, dozens of bridges, many tunnels. India is totally equipped, committed to defend its sovereignty and honour,” he said.