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PM Modi Says India in Safe Hands After Air Strike, Recites Prasoon Joshi's Poem For 2014 Campaign Again

In the well-crafted address that would have been closely watched both in India and international community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not elaborate on the early morning air strike conducted by the IAF inside Pakistan.


Updated:February 28, 2019, 11:52 AM IST

New Delhi: India is in safe hands, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his first address hours after Indian Air Force warplanes struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp deep in Pakistani territory while speaking at a campaign rally in Churu, Rajasthan.

Modi’s speech carried the clear message for his constituents that the BJP government at the Centre wouldn’t take terror attacks engineered by non-state actors in Pakistan lying down.

He also recited the BJP anthem for 2014 election campaign, which was composed by Prasoon Joshi, as he attempted to address party’s core constituency which has favoured a muscular approach in dealing with cross-border terrorism.

“Today I repeat what I said back in 2014 - Saugandh mujhe is mitti ki main desh nahi mitne doonga, main desh nahi rukne doonga, main desh nahi jhukne doonga. (The perfume of my country, I won’t let the country be erased, I won’t let the country stop, I won’t let the country bow down),” he said.

However, in the well-crafted address that would have been closely watched both in India and international community, the Prime Minister did not elaborate on the early morning strike inside Pakistan.

Framed by the photographs of the 40 CRPF jawans who had died during the Pulwama attack, Modi said, "I want to assure you, the people of the country that India is in safe hands.”

Modi in fact chose not to escalate the political rhetoric vis-à-vis Pakistan, giving enough leeway to Pakistan to frame a considered and structured view in the wake of Pulwama attacks and India’s response to it.

He, instead, focused on domestic issues – and reiterated that the choice for electorate was clear – between that of a ‘majboot’ government and a majboor government, the PM’s terminology for if a coalition government comes to power.

Unlike the surgical strike post Uri attacks – when a military commander was asked to brief the media on the operational details –foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, a career diplomat, was asked to share a terse statement on Balakot bombings this morning. India called the morning raids as “non-military pre-emptive actions against terrorists”.

The government has called a meeting of opposition parties later in the day to brief them on the current situation on the western front and the action taken by Indian Air Force against Pakistan bases terror outfits.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj personally spoke to leaders of various political parties this morning invited them for a briefing in the evening.

Earlier on Tuesday, 12 Indian Force Mirage-2000 jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed terror camps of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, said the MEA.

Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed the air strike and said a large number of JeM terrorists, trainers and senior commanders were eliminated in largest JeM camp in Balakot.

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