“We will not beg for peace at any term,” said National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday over the shift in relations with neighbouring Pakistan since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.
“We can’t have peace and war at the choice of our adversary. If we’ve to protect our interests, then we will decide when and with whom and on what terms we will have peace,” Doval told news agency ANI.
He emphasised the country has not seen any terrorist attack in the last eight years except in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been facing a proxy war.
On weeding out terrorism from Kashmir, Doval stressed post 2019, the mood of the people of Kashmir has “totally changed”. “People are no more in favour of Pakistan and terrorism… Where is Hurriyat today, where are the Bandh calls, where are the Friday Hartals? They have all gone. But there are some young boys who have been misled, we are doing our best to persuade them, their families are also persuading them. We don’t deal with terrorism; we have to deal with a terrorist.”
Lately, terrorists in Kashmir have been targeting Kashmir Pandits and other civilians. According to reports, the Kashmir Valley has witnessed at least 16 targeted killings, including officials, teachers and sarpanches since January. Doval said Kashmiri Pandits are a vulnerable section and need protection. The government will do more to safeguard them.
He also said India has “good relations” with Pakistan and it would like to have “normal” ties with the neighbour but “the terrorism threshold for terrorism is very low”.
Pointing out the long-pending territorial dispute with China, Doval said “We have made our intentions very clear to China. They are aware of the fact that we will not tolerate any transgression…”
There had been “unsavoury” incidents in 2020. India has tried to resolve a few issues through “talks”, “persuasions”, “negotiations”. “We are vigilant and we are able to protect our borders”.
On the night of June 15, 2020, a five-hour-long confrontation took place between India and China after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had pitched tents and an observation post on India’s side of the LAC. Twenty Indian soldiers, including Colonel Suresh Babu, commander of 16 Bihar, lost their lives in the stand-off. While there were casualties on the Chinese side too, Beijing refused to accept the same.