In an election rally in Barmer in Rajasthan, PM Narendra Modi said that India had missed a golden opportunity to settle the Kashmir dispute. In the 1971 war, the Indian army had captured hundreds of Pakistani troops and occupied a significant amount of Pakistani land. He blamed the Congress government for missing out on this opportunity.
The Prime Minister said, “the government crumbled under global pressure and signed the Shimla agreement and the matter was closed. PoWs and the captured land were released. That was a golden opportunity to resolve the Kashmir dispute in lieu of the PoW”.
Bending under global pressure, the Congress government had released 90,000 PoWs and the captured lands, a mistake which costs us even to this day. The Prime Minister said that this was the reason Congress was against the idea of nationalism.
Nevertheless, he reiterated that his government would not let the country be bullied by Pakistan’s policies and that the Balakot air strike was fitting reply.
Reaffirming the country’s capability of nuclear deterrence, he said “India has stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan’s threats. Every other day they used to say ‘we have nuclear button, we have nuclear button’. What do we have then? Have we kept it for Diwali?”
In response to criticism he faced on raising national security issues during election rallies he said “If I do not talk about the military valour, what for am I here? To sing with a Bhajan Mandali”. He further criticised the Congress for demanding evidence of the success of Balakot strikes.
Long-standing demands like the One Rank One Pension and the National War Memorial, ignored by the Congress government, has been fulfilled by the Modi administration, he said. “There was a long pending demand for war memorial but Congress built memorials for their family. They built ‘Samadhi’ for their family but did not build war memorial in the memory of jawans who sacrificed life for the country”, the PM added.
Referring to the numerous defence procurement scams he said that the Congress wasn’t interested in talking about national security.
“The Chowkidaar has also made efforts to get citizenship amendment law passed for those having faith in the country (Maa Bharati). The people of this country who chose to live in Pakistan at the time of partition …. started facing atrocities because their faith and the way of revering god was different,” he said, reiterating his support for the oppressed minorities in Pakistan.