Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India never provoked any nation, but, if incited, it would not spare anyone. Addressing a poll meeting, he asserted that the measures taken by the Narendra Modi-led government to curb terrorism have cemented India's reputation as one of the strongest nations in the world.
"Our intention is clear. Our policy is clear... ''Hum duniya ke kisi desh ko chhedenge naihin; lekin jo hum ko chhedega, hum chhodenge nahin'' (we will never provoke any country, but, if provoked, will not spare anyone)," the Union minister said.
Recounting the former BJP government's efforts to maintain "friendly relations" with Pakistan, he said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited the neighbouring country to extend a "hand of friendship", and, in return, received the Kargil invasion.
"Atal ji used to say, friends may change in life, but not neighbours. He went to Pakistan with an objective to build neighbourly relations. Pakistan, in return, invaded Kargil. Our jawans, however, gave an appropriate response, decimating them," Mr Singh stated.
As Pakistan couldn't fight a conventional war, it resorted to sending terrorists to attack Indian forces, the Union defence minister said.
"The Narendra Modi government decided to strike and destroy terror camps inside Pakistan. India is no longer a weak nation. I have been to several countries in the past as well as in the recent times.
"Our country's impression has changed outside. Our fight against terrorism has cemented India's reputation as one of the strongest nations in the world," he insisted.
Noting that "a trust deficit was prevalent in India's political system" during Congress rule, Mr Singh said the BJP had taken it up as a challenge and fulfilled the promises it made to the people.