MANDI (HIMACHAL PRADESH):

Everyone is talking about the army these days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on Tuesday at a public meeting, without referring to last month’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control.

“Earlier Israel used to be spoken of like this. Now everyone knows our army can do it too and is no less capable,” PM Modi told a large gathering in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. Israel is known for its targeted military strikes against enemy countries and militant outfits.

The prime minister also described Himachal Pradesh as the land of “veers” (the brave) where almost every family has a soldier.

On September 29, soldiers crossed over the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and destroyed staging areas for terrorists who, the army said, were prepping to enter India and attack cities.

In multiple statements, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has credited the Prime Minister and the government’s “guts” in authorizing the raids, which were seen as a response to the attack in Kashmir’s Uri, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani terrorists.

The opposition has accused the BJP of attempts at drawing political capital out of the army operation ahead of a string of state elections.

Main opposition Congress and Arvind Kejriwal have also said the government should share evidence to rebut Pakistan’s claim that the strikes were nothing but an exaggeration of cross-border firing, but the government has dismissed the suggestion.
The army today said whatever could be said about the strikes had been said and no other details could be shared.

“Appropriate response has been given to questions on the surgical Strikes. Authorities from the army and political parties have already given the details,” said Lieutenant General Satish Dua, an army commander based in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I do not have any different point of view,” he added. He also said the army is prepared to deal with “any misadventure from across the Line of Control, whether it is by regulars or otherwise.”


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