If terrorists run away to Pakistan, we will enter the country to kill them: Rajnath

To a question on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Defence Minister says it “was a part of India earlier, is a part of India today and will remain so tomorrow” 

April 06, 2024 12:59 am | Updated 06:49 am IST - New Delhi

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on April 4, 2024.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on April 4, 2024. | Photo Credit: ANI

“If any terrorist tries to disturb the peace in Bharat, or tries to carry out terror activities in Bharat, we will give them a befitting reply (muh tod jawab),” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on April 5, adding, “If they run away to Pakistan, we will enter Pakistan to kill them (Pakistan mein ghus ke marenge).”

“Whatever Prime Minister has said is absolutely true. And this is the strength of India. And Pakistan has also started understanding this. By the way, India always wants to maintain good relations with its neighbouring countries. Whatever it is, it is our neighbouring country. Till date, we have neither attacked any land in the world nor have we taken any initiative to attack any land in the world,” Mr. Singh said.

“This has been the nature of India. But if anyone shows India the angry eyes again and again, comes to India and tries to promote terrorist activities, we will not spare them.”

He said this in an interview to a television channel in response to a question on an article published in The Guardian that said India had carried out the execution of almost 20 terrorists since 2020 inside Pakistan.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) declined to comment on whether Mr. Singh’s statement was at odds with the MEA position, as quoted in the article, that the allegations were false. However, in January, in response to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi’s claims that India had carried out two extra-judicial killings, MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had termed it Pakistan’s “latest attempt at peddling false and malicious anti-India propaganda.” Stating that Pakistan has long been the epicentre of terrorism, organised crime, and illegal transnational activities, the spokesperson added that to “blame others for its own misdeeds can neither be a justification nor a solution.”

To a question on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), Mr. Singh said it “was a part of India earlier, is a part of India today and will remain so tomorrow.” When asked if this subject would be a priority if the Modi government were to get a third term, the Defence Minister said the people of Pakistan “will themselves demand that they should be made to live in India... you must have seen that one or two protests took place there and those people want to merge with India.”

After the removal of special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, the situation in Kashmir has become normal and the pace of development has also increased, Mr. Singh said.

Mr. Singh also hit back at the United Nations for commenting on the country’s upcoming election and the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the excise policy case.

“Who is the United Nations to talk about free and fair elections in India? Did India not have free and fair elections before this? Weren’t the 2019 elections free and fair? And what about 2014? In fact, I say even before 2014 India had free and fair elections. Where did this issue come from?” he asked. “Let’s assume agencies have made wrongful arrests of Chief Ministers or Deputy Chief Ministers. Then why are they not getting relief, bail or release from the courts?” he added.

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Last week, Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, when asked about the “political unrest” in India ahead of the upcoming elections in the context of Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest and the freezing of the Congress’ bank accounts commented, “What we very much hope is that in India, as in any country that is having elections, everyone’s rights are protected, including political and civil rights, and everyone is able to vote in an atmosphere that is free and fair.”

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