September 2016 News

Modi Slams 'one-time Friend' Sharif, Says Won't Forget Uri

24 September 2016
Times of India
Mohua Chatterjee & Akhilesh Singh

Kozhikode: Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck a combative note in his first public address after the Uri attack, saying the sacrifice of 18 soldiers martyred at the camp would not go in vain. At a rally here, the PM issued a blunt warning that India would make every effort to isolate Pakistan for exporting terrorism. 'The leaders of Pakistan should not forget that the sacrifice of our 18 jawans will not go in vain. We will quicken our campaign to isolate Pakistan in the world. We will force you to remain alone in the world,' Modi said. 'Terrorists should hear clearly, India will never forget Uri... India has not bowed to terrorism and will not do so now.' Modi did not make a direct threat but was relentless in accusing Pakistan of being the 'one nation in Asia' wanting to plunge the region into bloodshed and terrorism. He blamed the crime squarely on Pakistan and slammed his counterpart Nawaz Sharif for toeing the line of the terrorist masterminds and said that he and the rest of the world had no illusions that the Pakistan PM could stop the export of terrorism. He hit out at Sharif 's reference to Hizbul leader Burhan Wani in his UN speech, describing it as a 'stuti gaan(eulogy)' of a terrorist. 'Pakistan's leaders read out speeches prepared by the masters of terrorists to preach on Kashmir,' said Modi, virtually jettisoning his efforts to build an equation with Sharif and push for normalisation of relations in the first two years of his prime ministership. He made no bones about his estimate that Sharif was not capable of delivering on promises. 'The world has no hope that the ruling establishment there would stop exporting terror,' said the PM as he reached out to the people of Pakistan, saying they ought to realise that the bellicose rhetoric of their rulers was a ploy to conceal their failure to develop the country. The speech came amid anger against Pakistan - something the PM acknowledged - and an expectation of retribution, as well as taunts from opponents about his failure to walk the talk. In his speech, the PM gave no indication that the response of the government would go beyond efforts to isolate Pakistan, but catered to the popular expectation of vengeance. His aggressive barbs against the Pakistani leadership were lapped up by the big crowd. In fact, BJP members acknowledged that the PM's attack on Pakistan and its leaders and his promise not to let the deaths of soldiers be forgotten may have raised the stakes for him to show some outcomes in the coming days. While the appeal to the people of Pakistan - that the two countries should be competing to eradicate poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and malnutrition - marked a new tack, the PM also used the speech to defend the military, which is facing charges of lapses in the wake of attacks on Pathankot and Uri. He said that before the Uri attack, the Army and other security forces, including J&K police, had foiled 17 attempts by Pakistan to push in terrorists. The PM also sought to shame the neighbour over the state of its economy, polity and society. Modi said Pakistanis should ask 'why is it that India exports software and Pakistan exports terror to the world'.