Modi Tones Down War Rhetoric

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SRINAGAR: Invoking the pre-Independence connection with India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday challenged Pakistani nation for a war against poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment.

Speaking for the first time after Uri incident, Modi squarely targeted Pakistan, saying India will not forget the ‘sacrifices’ of 18 soldiers killed in Kashmir, adding India will work to isolate Pakistan globally for exporting terror.

Addressing the BJP National Council meet in Kozhikode, Kerala Modi said that the Pakistan government was "misleading" its people on Kashmir. 

He said Pakistani leaders had been talking of a "thousand years' war" with India. "Let me tell you that there is a government in Delhi that accepts your challenge."

However, he mellowed down the rhetoric, saying both countries should "fight the war", but against poverty, unemployment and illiteracy — and "let's see who wins".

"The people of Pakistan should ask their rulers… PoK (Pakistan Controlled Kashmir) is with you, you can't even manage that. Earlier, East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, was with you, you could not manage that. You are unable to manage Sindh, Gilgit- Baltistan, Pakhtun and Balochistan, and you are talking of Kashmir… They are misleading you on Kashmir," he said.

Modi said he wanted to remind the people of Pakistan that before partition in 1947, their forefathers also considered this land as their own. 

"I want to speak to the people of Pakistan. I want to remind them that before 1947 your forefathers too used to consider this country as your motherland, loved it. Keeping that in mind I want to ask a few things."

He said both countries became independent at the same time. "So how is it that India exports software, but you (Pakistan) export terrorists.”

We've been hearing it for a while – 21st century is Asia's century. And Asia has all it takes to achieve that.

But there is one country in Asia that is working towards thwarting that vision.

"Some leaders from the neighbouring nation said they would fight against India for 1000 years. Where are they today?" he said, in a reference to a claim made once by former Pakistan Premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then by his daughter Benazir Bhutto. Both the Pakistani Prime Ministers were killed, the former hanged by the Pakistan government and the latter was assassinated by terrorists. 

Modi told the people of Pakistan that the world didn't believe their leaders who merely echoed the words of perpetrators of terror strikes.

He also said the "Sacrifice of 18 soldiers" killed in the Uri attack "will not go in vain".

"We will make efforts to isolate Pakistan" and force it to remain alone in the global stage".

Earlier in the day, Modi met the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs of Staff to discuss the security situation in Kashmir and discuss strategy regarding India’s response to the Uri attack. Those present at the meeting at the prime minister’s residence included Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral KB Singh.

The meeting came almost a week after the militant strike for which India has held Paskistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad responsible. However, defence officials told PTI that it was “a routine” meeting that they have with the prime minister every month.

 

SPEECH HIGHLIGHTS

  •  We've been hearing it for a while – 21st century is Asia's century. And Asia has all it takes to achieve that.

 

  •   But there is one country in Asia that is working towards thwarting that vision.

 

  •   I want to remind people of Pakistan, before 1947, your ancestors used to consider undivided India their land, loved it. And in their memory I want to tell you something. 

 

  •  Both nations gained independence at the same time, why does India exports software and while you export terrorism? 

 

  • I want to tell the people of Pakistan to confuse you, your leaders have worked for ages and called for 1000 year war with India. I am ready to face that challenge.

 

  •  I want to tell the people of Pakistan, If you have what it takes, lets fight to end poverty in our countries. Lets see who gets there first.

 

  •  People of Pakistan and India will like this competition.

 

 

  •  Youth of Pakistan, come lets fight. Lets see who ends unemployment first – India or Pakistan. 

 

  • Lets fight against illiteracy. 

 

  •  Newborns, pregnant mothers die in both India and Pakistan. Lets see who can save them first. 

 

  •  The people of Pakistan please ask your leaders, you have PoK. You cannot manage it. 

 

  •  Bangladesh used to be yours, you couldn't manage it. 

 

  •  You cannot manage Gilgit, Baltistan, Pakhtun, Balochistan, Sindh…and you are talking about Kashmir.

 

  •  And leaders of Pakistan hear this. The sacrifice of 18 of our soldiers will not go in vain.

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