A 26/11 Mumbai attack-like terror strike in India is almost impossible as the national security architecture has been significantly bolstered in the last few year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday, the 12th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai attack in which 166 were killed.
While addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Mr Singh also referred to the Sino-India border row in Ladakh, and said the armed forces have been given a free hand to effectively deal with any attempts to change the Line of Actual Control and that the government will not allow any harm to India's self-respect.
"I want to assure everyone that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration, there will be no compromise on India's self-respect, sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
Referring to the 26/11 attack, Mr Singh said India is no more a soft target for terrorism due to a variety of measures in the last few years, and added that Pakistan has been exposed as "nursery of terrorism" following diplomatic outreach by New Delhi.
"We can assure all the countrymen that now India has strengthened its internal and external security cycle so much that it is now almost impossible to execute another 26/11 attack on Indian soil," Mr Singh said.
On November 26, 2008, a group of 10 Pakistani terrorists went on a rampage, carrying out a coordinated attack on a railway station, two luxury hotels and a Jewish centre, after they sneaked into India's financial capital through the Arabian sea route.
Over 166 people including 28 foreigners from 10 nations were killed in the nearly 60-hour seige that sent shockwave across the country.
"Now India's response to terrorism has been under a 360-degree approach. India is taking action within its borders. But, if needed, our brave soldiers are going beyond that to destroy the terrorist bases," the defence minister said.
The defence minister also referred to the failed attempts by Pakistan-based terrorists to carry out a major attack in Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir recently.
"Whether it was the surgical strike after the Uri incident or the Balakot air strikes after the Pulwama attack, our armed forces have taken drastic action to deal with terrorism," Mr Singh said.
"Pakistan's model of terrorism against India is slowly being demolished...We have escalated the cost for those supporting terrorism, and countries like Pakistan may have to pay a heavy price for making terrorism a state policy," Mr Singh said.