India won’t play on back foot against terror, our security doctrine has changed, says Arun Jaitley


New Delhi, March 22:
Union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday slammed Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda for his comments on IAF’s air strike on a terror camp in Balakot following the Pulwama attack, terming his statement as “unfortunate” and a “blessing for Pakistan’s narrative”. If the ‘guru’ (teacher) has such thinking, then one can imagine how his student would be, Jaitley said hitting out at remarks of Pitroda, who is a close aide of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Jaitley said the fight against terror cannot be won by playing on the back foot and India’s security doctrine had evolved to a point where it does not just defend itself, but can also go to the origin of terror and make a pre-emptive strike. “The security doctrine of India has changed now. We attack at the point of origin of terror now. This is now an ideological battle between those who want to defend India using all possible measures or those who want to fight for India with their hands tied behind their back,” Jaitley said. “There is no country that has criticised the surgical strikes or the air strikes conducted by India except for one nation, Pakistan. The fact that senior Congress leaders are speaking the same language is unfortunate and also hurts the sentiments of the country. To say that the Pulwama attack was self-engineered is a blessing for Pakistan’s narrative,” he said. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also slammed Pitroda for his statement and had said “we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!” Pitroda had reportedly said that post the Mumbai terror attacks, India could have responded with air strikes, but “according to me that’s not how you deal with world.” He had also said he wanted to “know more” about the Balakot air attack and number of terrorists killed in it.

Saying that Pitroda’s statement was “erroneous”, Jaitley asserted that it was based on the assumption that Pakistan state actors and non-state actors were different.
“It is unfortunate for India that somebody who is an ideologue of the Congress has said so. I think such people have no connect with India’s security requirement, the sentiment of India and Indian forces, and the pain and loss that we have suffered in last three decades due to terrorism,” he said.
“Their (Pakistan’s) reaction to terror attacks has pointed out that non-state attackers are just an extended limb to the state actors of Pakistan,” Jaitley told reporters on the sidelines of a function where former cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP.
Days after the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF jawans, the Indian Air Force fighter jets bombed terror group JeM training camp near Balakot inside Pakistan on February 26.


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