Soldiers stand guard outside an army base in Nagrota, about 15 kilometers from Jammu. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Sending a strong message to Pakistan on cross-border terrorism, India on Thursday said it will never accept continued cross-border terrorism as the new normal. In a statement to the media, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “Stop cross-border terrorism and then we can talk.” Slamming Pakistan for fomenting terrorism, Swarup said that India hasn’t got any request for a bilateral meeting with the neighbouring country and that India is in favour of talks but not in this atmosphere of terror.
On the Nagrota militant attack two days back, MEA said, “We are awaiting specific details before taking the next step. Government has taken Nagrota attack very seriously and will do what it feels is required for our national security.” Commenting on the SAARC meeting, which India boycotted, MEA said, “It was not India which scuttled SAARC process, unanimous members wrote to chair Nepal that atmosphere not conducive.”
On the criticism that the attacks increased after the surgical strikes, he said, “It was our assessment at that
point of time that there was an imminent threat based on hard intelligence about the location of armed terrorists who were ready to infiltrate from across the LoC and carry out terrorist activities on our side.
“This imminent threat was successfully neutralised through the surgical strikes. We should not look only at what
happened but also at what did not happen, what was prevented through successful neutralisation of terrorists.” On being asked to comment on the recent elevation of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the new Pakistan Army Chief, MEA said, “Change of Army Chief is internal matter of Pakistan, but we will judge Pakistan by its behaviour and its track record.”
On Pakistan suggesting a joint probe in Uri strike, which India maintains was carried out by Pakistan-based terrorists, Swarup said this has happened in past also and instead of acting on the evidence provided by India, Islamabad engages in “pure propaganda ploys”. “Pakistan called for an international inquiry, we said we are happy even with their domestic inquiry. When we are giving you fingerprints, DNA of the terrorists who we believe came
from Pakistan why Pakistan cannot match this with its national database?” he said.
The media briefing comes nearly two days after Jammu was rocked by two terror attacks in which seven army personnel, including two Major-rank officers, were killed and eight other security-men, including a BSF DIG, were injured, before six heavily-armed terrorists were eliminated in separate fierce encounters.