NEW DELHI,AMITA SHAH: In his first public speech after the Uri attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Pakistan and said the sacrifice of the 18 soldiers will not go in vain. Yet, he drew a distinction between Pakistan’s ‘hukmaran’ (rulers) and ‘awam’ (people) and challenged the country for a battle on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and infant mortality.
Modi’s combative tone resounded with the setting sun in the backdrop of the Arabian Sea as he sent a message “directly to Pakistan”, reminding its people of their pre-independence links with India.
Raising the pitch, Modi said Pakistan is the only country in Asia exporting terror and wanting bloodshed and killing. He took it to a crescendo saying India was ready to face the challenge to fight, but amidst the stillness of anticipation among the thousands who had gathered on the Calicut beach, gave the idea of war a new twist — that of a fight over development.
After elating the BJP cadre with his tough line against Pakistan, Modi went on to take a statesman like approach saying “let’s fight poverty and see who wins, let’s fight unemployment and see who wins, let’s fight illiteracy and see who wins, let’s fight child mortality and see who wins.”
Modi said a time will come when the people of Pakistan will rise against their own rulers on the issue of terrorism. “Pakistan’s people should ask their rulers: If both countries got freedom at the same time, why is it that India is exporting software and Pakistan terror.”
In an apparent reference to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif’s address at the UN General Assembly, Modi said: “Today’s rulers were reading a speech of patrons of terrorism and talking of Kashmir.” He said the
Pakistani rulers were misleading people by talking of fighting for thousand years and by reading out scripts written by terrorists. Over a month after raising the Balochistan issue, the PM again asked Islamabad to look into its backyard.
“You can’t control PoK. You couldn’t control Bangladesh. You couldn’t control Gilgit and Balochistan,” he said.
PM Narendra Modi said there was anger in the country over Uri and said, “Terrorists, open your ears and listen, this is not something this country will ever forget.” He further said Pakistan tried to export terrorists to India 17 times in the last few months “but the army stopped them and around 110 terrorists have been killed”. Most of the time he referred to Pakistan as “that country” and neighbouring country and repeatedly spoke of its ‘hukmaran’ and ‘Awam’.
“There is one nation in Asia whose aim is that this century does not become Asia’s. Wherever terrorism is happening across Asia, the affected nations are blaming only that nation,” the PM said. He began his speech referring to Kerala as God’s Own Country, which he said had an impression of purity and holiness.