A week after India targeted terrorists with raids across the Line of Control, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said there is no reason for the government to share proof of the action, as demanded controversially by the opposition. "It was a 100% perfect surgical strike," said Mr Parrikar about the cross-Line of Control raids, claiming, "even when bigger nations do surgical strikes, they are not as successful."
Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned ministers that there must be no "chest thumping" about the military action and urged them not to speak out of turn. Mr Parrikar's remarks were made at a BJP rally in Agra in Uttar Pradesh, which votes soon for its next government. Later, he will move to Lucknow, where posters at the BJP headquarters feature Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Defence Minister along with praise for the army for the surgical strikes conducted in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
Refuting criticism from political opponents of trying to gain political mileage from the army's operation, Mr Parrikar said any felicitation is not aimed at him but at the army and the "leadership of the Prime Minister." He also said, "Someone said that I am straight-forward (seedha-saadha). I think the Defence Minister should not be straight when it comes to ensuring the safety of the country. "In matters of the country's defence, I can think tedha (wily)," he asserted.
Quoting a CNN News18 report in which a Pakistani army official reportedly admitted to the strikes by India, Mr Parrikar said there is no need for evidence of soldiers venturing across the Line of Control. The army has spoken of "significant casualties" inflicted on the seven terrorist staging areas that were hit. On Dussehra on Tuesday, PM Modi will break with tradition by participating in celebrations not at Delhi's famous Ramlila grounds, but in Lucknow, where he will set fire to a massive Ravan effigy symbolising the "demon of terror". The organisers claim that the message is linked to the surgical strikes conducted by the army.