Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India will not tolerate those who like to "export terror" and will respond to them "in the language they understand", referring to the 2016 'surgical strikes' across the Line of Control (LoC), reported Times of India.
On September 28, 2016, India had claimed that the country carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC, inflicting "significant casualties".
The Pakistan military, however, had swiftly rubbished the notions of a surgical strike, saying: "This quest by the Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as a surgical strike is fabrication of the truth. Pakistan has made it clear that if there is a surgical strike on Pakistani soil, the same will be strongly responded."
Modi, during the 'Bharat ki Baat, Sabke Saath' diaspora event in London on Wednesday, claimed that before making the news of the 'surgical strikes' public, India had repeatedly attempted to contact Pakistan government to inform them about the operation.
"I said before India gets to know, we should call Pakistan and tell them what we did so they can come and collect the dead bodies if they have time. We were calling them since 11am but they were scared to answer the phone. At 12 we spoke to them and then told the Indian media," he was quoted as saying.
“We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give back strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted," Modi said.
The Foreign Office on Thursday reiterated that India's claims about the 'surgical strike' were false and baseless. "Repeating a lie doesn't turn it into the truth," said FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.
In response to Modi's comments on Pakistan exporting terrorism, Dr Faisal said that it was the other way around and that India was backing terrorists in Pakistan. "Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is proof of Indian state-sponsored terrorism."
'Don't politicise rape'
Hundreds of noisy protesters greeted Modi when he arrived in London on Wednesday. Holding placards reading “Modi go home” and “we stand against Modi’s agenda of hate and greed”, they gathered outside Downing Street and parliament as Modi arrived for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Kashmiris held aloft flags, while others displayed posters depicting an eight-year-old Muslim girl, who was raped and murdered earlier this year in a brutal attack blamed on Hindu men.
Speaking on the gruesome incident during the event, Modi said: "Rape is rape. It cannot be tolerated. But should we compare the number of rapes in different governments? We cannot say there were this many rapes in our government and that many in yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue."
He also urged people and political leaders to refrain from politicising the rape cases, reported Times of India.
Sexual violence against women is a highly charged political issue in India. Protests have erupted across India after the latest rape cases — one of the Kashmir girl and the other of a teenager — were reported. Police officers and a politician are under investigation in two of the unrelated cases.
A state lawmaker from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party stands accused of raping the teenager. No action was taken against the politician until the girl threatened to set herself on fire earlier this month. Her father died soon afterwards from injuries he sustained while in police custody.
Nearly 40 per cent of India’s rape victims are children and the 40,000 reported rapes in 2016 marked a 60 per cent increase over the level in 2012. But women’s rights groups say the figures are still gross underestimates.
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