More action to follow air strike: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of various development projects in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Monday. (UNI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of various development projects in Jamnagar, Gujarat on Monday. (UNI)

‘Won’t lag behind in taking big decisions’

AHMEDABAD/JAMNAGAR, Mar 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today indicated that last week’s air strike in Pakistan won’t be India’s last such action against terrorism emanating from the neighbouring country.
Addressing a gathering here, Modi said he will target them (terrorists) “even if they hide in the bowels of the earth”.
“If one work gets over, our government doesn’t sleep, but gets ready for another,” Modi said, in a veiled reference to the February 26 air strike on a terror camp in Pakistan.
The remark elicited a loud roar of approval from the crowd.
“We won’t lag behind when it comes to taking big and bitter decisions,” he said.
Modi asked opposition leaders not to malign India’s armed forces and desist from giving statements which may hog limelight in the Pakistani media.
“What our opposition leaders say become headlines in Pakistan newspaper today,” Modi said.
Taking a tough stance on terrorism, the PM asserted that he will find out those responsible for such acts in India “even if they hide in the bowels of the earth”.
“It is our principle to kill them by barging into their houses,” Modi said.
The PM said the IAF’s air attack on the Balakote terror camp, carried out in response to the Pulwama suicide bombing, should not be linked with the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“If this is done for elections, were there elections when we carried out the first surgical strikes (in 2016),” he said.
Referring to the 2008 attack at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Modi said, “Should not those sitting in Delhi at that time have taught those sitting in Pakistan a lesson.”
Meanwhile, asking opposition parties to use common sense, Modi slammed them for questioning his statement that the presence of Rafale fighter jets would have given greater firepower to the IAF during the February 27 aerial engagement with Pakistan.
“I said if Rafale was acquired in time it would have made a difference (during the February 27 dogfight), but they (opposition parties) say Modi is questioning our air force strike,” Modi said, addressing a gathering in Jamnagar.
“Please use common sense. What I said was if we had Rafale at the time (of aerial dogfight), then none of our fighter jets would have gone down and none of theirs saved,” he added. India lost one MiG 21 jet during the fierce dogfight in which one F-16 warplane of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was also shot down.
“If they(opposition) don’t understand me what can I do. They have their own limitations,” he told the audience during his 40-minute speech rendered in Gujarati.
Lashing out at statements from opposition party leaders who demanded proof of the February 26 air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakote, Modi said his objective was to end terror while that of the opposition was to remove him.
“The root of terrorism disease is in the neighbouring country, should we not cure the disease from its roots,” he said.
“Even if mentors of those seeking to destroy India are outside, this country won’t sit quietly,” he said in his address after inaugurating an annexe building of Guru Govind Singh hospital and various other development works.
Modi also flagged off the Bandra-Jamnagar Humsafar Express and launched development projects, including the 51-km pipeline from Aaji-3 to Khijadia.
He said structural and long-term measures are required to overcome the challenges faced by the country, instead of poorly thought out short term ones.
Hospitals that have come up in the past few years in Gujarat will greatly benefit the poor, he said. The Ayushman Bharat scheme rolled out by the Union Government will ensure affordable and quality healthcare for the poor, he added.
Modi lauded water conservation measures adopted by the Gujarat Government. The Government has big plans to provide water to people by establishing big desalination plants, he said.
Slamming the Congress, Modi said the party’s programme was to announce farm loan waiver every 10 years and collect votes by fooling people.
“Our Government will give direct financial assistance to farmers every year. When Rs 75,000 crore will go to rural economy every year it will have a positive impact,” Modi said. (PTI)