NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continuing his belligerent narrative against Islamabad, has claimed that India is now capable of making Pakistan “bite the dust” in less than 10 days
The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars and last February came close to a fourth with tit-for-tat airstrikes sparked by an attack on Indian troops in occupied Kashmir.
Modi is under pressure after weeks of ongoing protests against a new citizenship law, a slowing economy and the prospect of losing the latest in a string of state elections in New Delhi next month.
“Our armed forces will not take more than 7-10 days to make Pakistan bite the dust,” Modi said in a speech to military personnel on Tuesday.
In February 2019, the air forces of the two countries clashed in the skies new the Line of Control (LoC) after the botched Balakot airstrike. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down two Indian fighter jets and captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Pakistan had later released the Indian pilot as a goodwill gesture.
Wearing a maroon National Cadet Corps baseball cap at the event in the capital, Modi said India’s new prowess was thanks to what he called “youthful thinking”.
Captured #Indian Pilot of @IAF_MCC #AbhiNandan while having a cup of tea appreciates the professional behaviour of #PakArmy and asked India to should adopt the same!#PakistanStrikesBack #SayNoToWar #PakistanZindabaad 🇵🇰 pic.twitter.com/T0fpEIKURA
— Arsalan Siddiqy (@ArsalanISF) February 27, 2019
“This is ‘youthful thinking’. We carry out surgical strikes and take on terrorists in their homes,” Modi said.
Modi also claimed that Pakistan continues to wage a “proxy war” against India in IOK where tens of thousands of people have died in recent decades.
In August Modi’s government stripped Indian Kashmir of its partial autonomy. Pakistan termed the move as a “clear violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions” in the region.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on several occasions has informed the world that Pakistan does not want a war with India, but at the same time, Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to the challenges posed to its security and integrity.
“We are prepared to give the enemy the fullest possible response. Failing, the world community will be responsible for the catastrophic aftermath,” he had warned.