In his first interview since starting his 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign blitz, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his views on a host of developments which took place in the last five years under his BJP-led NDA government, during an exclusive interview with Republic Media Network's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami.
One of the most important topics which PM Modi discussed concerned the heinous Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred - the worst act of terrorism on India's armed forces in recent history, which was avenged 12 days later as the IAF decimated Pakistan's Balakot terror base.
During his interview, the Prime Minister spoke how the terror attack hurt the nation, and how he gave the armed forces full liberty to avenge the deaths of their fellow personnel.
"I made the statement publicly that I have given a free hand to all security related institutions. They made the plan, they proposed the plan, they went forward. I have given a free hand," said the Prime Minister on India's response to the Pulwama terror attack.
On February 14, 40 CRPF Jawans lost their lives after their convoy heading from Jammu to Srinagar was struck with an IED blast. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
Even as the perpetrators of the dastardly act were exposed in front of the world, Pakistan washed its hands clean and chose to not take any serious action against the terror group - something it has maintained to this day.
India, however, took action, sending its fighter jets beyond the LoC to destroy a massive terror base in Balakot that was jointly operated by the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen.
While the global community backed India's right to act against the terrorists, members of India's Opposition questioned the strikes' efficacy, with their statements eventually finding their way to Pakistani media and being applauded by Pakistani politicians.
PM Modi has highlighted in his speeches following the Balakot strike how terrorists now think twice before entering the country fearing a Balakot-like reprisal. This is in sharp contrast to the approach put forth by Congress leader Sam Pitroda just a few days ago:
"Don’t know much about attacks, it happens all the time. An attack happened in Mumbai also. We could have then reacted and just sent our planes but that is not right approach. According to me, that is not how you deal with the world," said Congress international chief and close aide of Rahul Gandhi, Sam Pitroda.