Prime Minister Narendra Modi was referring to Pakistan Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhary’s comment that Pulwama was an “achievement of the Imran Khan government”.
Addressing the country on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Divas, which marks the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged people “not to play into the hands” of those who questioned the sacrifice of the soldiers in Pulwama.
Two days after Pakistan’s Science and Technology minister Fawad Chaudhary said in the Pakistan national assembly that “our success in Pulwama, is a success of this nation under the leadership of Imran Khan”, Modi said divisive forces have been exposed. He also said India’s perspective at the borders has now changed, and the country is equipped to give a fitting reply to intruders.
Speaking after the Ekta Parade at the Statue of Unity, where paramilitary forces showcased their skills, PM Modi said, “While I was watching the Ekta Diwas parade by the paramilitary forces, images of the Pulwama attack crossed my mind. The slain soldiers were also from the paramilitary forces. The entire country had plunged into grief and mourning. But there were some who were not part of this grief. They were the ones questioning the attack and making accusations. They were searching for their own gains and political opportunity in that time of grief.”
Without referring to any political party, PM Modi said he “silently endured” the allegations because it was not the time to indulge in spats.
“The country will not forget those distasteful comments and accusations during the Pulwama attack. I silently endured the allegations, but I had a deep wound in my heart for my brave soldiers who had laid down their lives. But today, there has been news from the neighbouring country, which has exposed these divisive forces who questioned the Pulwama soldiers,” he said.
“Today, it is my request to you all from this stage that if you have respect for Sardar, don’t indulge in such politics. Don’t play into the hands of such opportunistic politics and become pawns in their hands. We can only develop if we thwart such forces,” the Prime Minister said. He also referred to the abrogation of Article 370 and said that in the past year, Kashmir had joined India in development.
PM Modi said India had touched new heights of self-reliance on defence, and had its hawk eyes on the borders. “India is now moving towards becoming atmanirbhar in the area of defence. We have hawk eyes on our borders. Our perspective has also changed. No one can step foot here or cast an eye on our country. The brave soldiers have the power in their hands to give a befitting reply to any intruders for the protection of pride and sovereignty. We are equipped. We are building roads and tunnels in the borders despite challenges,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, PM Modi also said that India had been suffering terrorism and losing “brave soldiers and innocent citizens” to terror violence. “India has always given a firm reply to terrorism, but it is time for the world to unite against it. India has always been an advocate of peace. India is a feeling, which makes humans come alive due to its diversity. But many forces dislike our unity and want to turn our diversity into our weaknesses. We must identify these force,” he said.
The Prime Minister praised the confidence of the tribal youth and girls who have joined as volunteers at the various tourist projects in the periphery of the statue of Unity, which the prime minister inaugurated on Friday. He said that Kevadia will soon find a spot in the world tourist map and provide employment opportunities to the locals.
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