Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in London on Wednesday. He arrived in the United Kingdom from Sweden. The UK visit is the second part of his European visit. His schedule, as always on a foreign trip, was packed, from meeting Prime Minister of Britain Theresa May to talks with Prince Charles. Prince Charles accompanied PM Modi to London Science Museum to show around the ‘Illuminating India’ exhibition. The highlight of this visit though was the ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ event held in Central Hall Westminster. The event was attended by people of Indian Diaspora who interacted with PM Modi on a wide range of issues. One of the most prominent and widely discussed issued was that of the surgical strikes which were carried out against PoK based terrorists. The surgical strikes happened in 2016 on PoK soil.
The first mention of the surgical strikes was by a gentleman who asked PM Modi about his decision to give a green signal to the Indian Army for conducting the surgical strikes. Replying to his question, PM Modi started off by mentioning the circumstances which had led to the need of conducting strikes in the first place. Pointing towards our next door neighbours, Pakistan, PM Modi termed them as ‘manufacturers of terrorism’.
He also mentioned that the Pakistan Army and its home grown terrorists had infiltrated and brutally murdered ‘sleeping’ Indian soldiers ‘in their tents’. PM Modi termed it as a shameful and cowardly act which demanded a befitting reply. The decision to give a go ahead to the Indian Army desperate to avenge the brutal murder of their colleagues was quickly provided. A response strategy was devised and the surgical strikes were carried out without the loss of any Indian soldiers. The precision of the Indian soldiers ensured that the Pakistan Army and infiltrators were completely caught off-guard.
The most interesting piece of information on these surgical strikes though was yet to be revealed. PM Modi mentioned the fact as to how they had a room full of media persons waiting in the room but they did not divulge the details of the surgical strikes to them. The reason was simple, the Indian government officials and Army wanted to reveal the information first to Pakistan Army and government.
PM Modi spoke about how the Pakistani officials did not receive calls for more than an hour. The Indian media and the rest of the world were informed about the surgical strikes only after the Pakistani officials had been contacted and asked to collect the dead bodies of their men if they wanted. It was important, according to PM Modi, to publicly accept that India had carried out the surgical strikes to send a clear message that misguided adventurism by Pakistani Army would not be tolerated anymore. A clear message had to be sent out to Pakistan and the world that this is a new India, one which will not tolerate the evil acts done to its citizens.
‘Whenever any country takes the initiative of exporting terrorism, the innocent citizens of my country are killed, they don’t have the guts to fight a war, but always ready to incite trouble. I know how to pay them back’: PM Modi at Q&A session at Westminster Hall #PMInLondon pic.twitter.com/Ki0Lt5GxRv
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) April 19, 2018
When prodded further about the reactions of some political parties following the strikes, the parties which had questioned the authenticity of the strikes, PM Modi said that it was a matter of national importance and should not be politicized. He also hoped that the political parties who indulged in cheap political gimmicks would “get some brains”.
The Congress Party and Aam Aadmi Party leaders had questioned the authenticity of the strikes. Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi had in fact called the strikes “khoon ki dalali” (brokering their blood) while Maharashtra Congress Leader Sanjay Nirupam had called the surgical strikes “fake”. The ‘not so’ Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal had asked for proofs related to the surgical strikes from the central government led by PM Modi.