With less than a week to go before the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Republic Media Network's Political Editor Aishwarya Kapoor on Thursday, answering on a range of issues. When asked about his statement that India can help Pakistan to end with terror, the defence minister said that India is committed to fight against terror. On his statement that after procuring Rafale fighter jet, India can hit Pakistani terror outfits from its soil, he said that India does not wish to harm Pakistan's sovereignty but if terror harbours in its soil, India will take action against it.
"No, I never said that I will destroy Pakistan. What I said is Pakistan should fight honestly against terrorism. If they are unable to do that or if they need some help, then India can help them. India can help them in fighting terror. India has never said that it will attack Pakistan, or it will attack on Pakistan's army. But if there are terror outfits harbouring in Pakistani soil, we will attack and finish it. But we will not attack the sovereignty of Pakistan. We will not attack the unity of Pakistan. If you read Indian history, India has never attacked any country," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Issuing an advice to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday has said that India is ready to assist Pakistan if the neighbouring country is serious about combating terror on its soil. He also said that India would send its armed forces to Pakistan if the need arises. "I would like to make a suggestion to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. If you are serious about fighting against terror, we are ready to assist you. If you want our Army, then we will send them there for your help."
The defence minister added: "I was listening to Imran Khan's speech where he had said that till Kashmir gets freedom, we will continue our fight over it. He also said that his country will continue to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums. Forget about Kashmir, don't even think about it. Raise the matter, nothing will happen. No one can exert pressure on us." Rajnath Singh issued yet another warning to Pakistan, saying Pakistan divided India into two pieces as part of the two-nation theory in 1947 but in 1971, it was divided.
Earlier, reminding Pakistan of the Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday warned the neighbouring country to not repeat the '1971 mistake'. Speaking at a program in Jaipur to mark the 103rd birth anniversary of Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the defence minister said: "I have adviced Pakistan a number of times that they should not repeat the mistake they did in '65 or '71. In 1971, Pakistan was divided into two parts, and Bangladesh was formed. Therefore I am advising them that they should not repeat the 1971 mistake, else what can happen to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, they understand this very well."