NEW DELHI: Vowing to take 'proactive' steps to prevent another Mumbai 2008 attack from being hatched on foreign soil, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday hinted towards a new proxy war, saying they had to "neutralise terrorists through terrorists only".
"There are certain things that I obviously cannot discuss here. But if there is any country, why only Pakistan, planning something against my country, we will definitely take some pro-active steps."
Speaking at an event organised by a local news channel in New Delhi, Parrikar used the colloquial Hindi phrase 'kante se kanta nikalna' (removing a thorn using another thorn) and questioned why the Indian soldier had to be on the frontlines facing terrorists.
"We have to neutralise terrorists through terrorists only. Why can't we do it? We should do it. Why does my soldier have to do it?"
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Elaborating on the ‘proactive steps’ he talked about, Parrikar said these could include pressure tactics.
He refused to elaborate any further on the manner in the public gathering.
Asked what would be his government's reaction if there is a repeat of the Mumbai attacks or the Parliament attack, he said the best response would include ensuring an attack does not take place. He added that the Indian army had been given orders to neutralise infiltrators.
"I can only say that anyone trying to infiltrate will be neutralised."
Parrikar remarked that ‘a terrorist who comes with a gun cannot be lectured on human rights’.
He, however, mentioned that instructions had also been given to avoid collateral damage and prevent civilian and Indian military casualties.
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"Porosity on borders is less; intelligence has improved," he detailed of results of his governments efforts.
The article first appeared on DNA India