“India has not and will not forget the Pulwama suicide attack” and the country’s leadership is “both capable and courageous” to respond to such incidents appropriately, as per its choosing, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Tuesday. He was speaking at the 80th raising day celebrations of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Gurugram in Haryana.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into their convoy in Pulwama on February 14. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed has owned up the attack. Calling it a “very sad incident”, Doval said the country will always be indebted to the jawans who laid down their lives in the line of duty and their families.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the attack — one of the worst in recent times — the NSA said, “What should we do? What should be our way, our aim and our response and time to respond? The country’s leadership is both capable and courageous to (do) that,” Doval said.
“The country is capable of dealing with terrorism and the overground workers. We are ready to face the challenge and the intent to do so.”
“Twenty-eight of the thirty-seven countries that fragmented since World War-II disintegrated because of internal security challenges,” Doval said highlighting the importance of internal-security and added, “full-scale wars are unlikely to lead to the break-up of a country in this century, but, internal security challenges can lead to fragmentation of a nation-state.”
Doval, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is one of the key people behind designing and executing India’s response to the Pulwama suicide attack — the air strike on the JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Meanwhile, at a talk organized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Doval referred to the importance of surprise and added that in his career he had never repeated the same thing.
“I started this in my 20s and now I am 75. I’ve never done anything twice…every operation whether big or small is the first of my life. So I do it with that spirit of new challenge,” he said.
On Balakot air strike, Doval said it is natural that when one is taking a major decision there can be a sense of anxiety. You are not a “crystal gazer” and the result is known only after the decision is taken, he said.
Mar 19, 2019 23:00 IST