Parrikar’s post-Pathankot pep talk: Pain for pain, make it costly for terrorists

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Make them suffer the pain, and make it costly – this is the pointed message of India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to the country’s security agencies on how to defeat terrorists behind the Pathankot attack and their tribe who want to inflict terror on India.    

Asking the armed forces to neutralize India’s enemies, Mr Parrikar said on January 11 that incidents such as the Pathankot terror attack would continue to take place till the time the terror groups and attackers do not get neutralised. “What I am saying is that history tells you that those who damage you, if they don’t realise the pain they inflict, they don’t change,” Mr Parrikar said.

The Pathankot terror attacks which occurred on January 2, killed seven personnel belonging to the security forces and injured around 20 people. The attacks, suspected to be masterminded by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish e-Mohammed have once again put the bilateral dialogue process between India and Pakistan under severe stress. India has demanded prompt and decisive action from Pakistan in probing the Pathankot attack and has made it a precondition of holding the foreign secretary-level talks expected to take place mid-January in Islamabad.

Mr Parrikar’s statements come at a time when questions are being raised about India’s preparedness to handle such terror attacks, with many former defence and security officials calling for a comprehensive counter terrorism strategy. Security experts have pressed for making National Counter Terrorism Centre, set up after 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, more effective.  They have also backed the creation of a single chain of command to coordinate counter terror operations in case of a terror attack.

Asking the media not to misinterpret his speech at the 66th Army Day celebrations, Mr Parrikar said, “This is my opinion and not of the state… Anyone who harms you, he understands the same language. How, when and place should be of your choice, but if someone is harming this country I think that particular individual or organisation, should also receive the pain of such activity. Unless such pain is transmitted, he will enjoy giving pain to us.”

Appreciating the contribution of the armed forces and their courage in combating the terrorists in Pathankot, Mr Parrikar said, “We are proud of (our) seven soldiers. But I get pained when my soldiers die. I don’t appreciate it. When our soldiers die, I always tell them that you think of concept of taking life of your enemy or enemy of the country instead of giving your life. Sacrifice is always respected, beyond doubt. But nation needs you to neutralise the enemy and that is what should be the target.” He also praised the role of the armed forces in the recent Chennai Floods, calling it ‘par excellence’.

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