New Delhi: Putting all speculations pertaining to his delayed acknowledgement of the Pulwama attack to rest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained how he exercised restraint while addressing the Uttarakhand rally on February 14.

No one in the country can doubt Narendra Modi’s patriotism, it is not my words but my life so far that speaks for it, remarked the Prime Minister. He elucidated that a public rally is not the place or an occasion to break such shocking news to countrymen. At a time when India, Pakistan ties are under severe stress due to the Pulwama terror attack and its aftermath, speaking to a news channel, Prime Minister Modi also affirmed, “Our fight is with terrorism not people of Pakistan.”

Exuding confidence that the people of India are in favour of bringing a government with a complete majority, the Prime Minister said, “My experience says that there will be more progress than before because the people of the country know what Modi has done.”

Speaking on issues ranging on his response to the Pulwama attack perpetrators, the return of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan to the recent A-SAT launch, the Prime Minister addressed all questions.

Here is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said | Top highlights:

On Pulwama attack:

Explaining the reason behind his silence over the Pulwama terror attack while addressing a rally in Uttarakhand over the phone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I was in Uttarakhand on a pre-scheduled visit on the day Pulwama attack happened. I got the information about the attack and decided to address the rally over the phone but restrained myself from immediately mentioning the incident of such magnitude.” The Prime Minister explained that such news is not broken in rallies and specially not in such big gatherings.

Slamming those who used this for their political mileage, the Prime Minister further added, “This was lack of political wisdom.”

PM Modi then spoke on how after the dastardly attack in Pulwama, he decided that “enough is enough and gave a free hand to the army to take action as they deem fit.”

On Pakistan:

“We do hold any grudges against the people of Pakistan, our war is against terrorism,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. Explaining his stance, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan is a free country and is at liberty to do anything, but all we are asking is for them to not harbour terrorists.

The Pakistan-based terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) engineered attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama that killed 40 CRPF personnel and injured five others on February 14.

On Abhinandan:

Lashing out against the Opposition for posturing on wrong issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that instead of hailing the Air Force and its capable pilots for downing Pakistan’s mighty F-16 jet, leaders started to questions when will Wing Commander Abhinandan return.

Mocking them further, the Prime Minister said, “The Opposition organised a candle march for Abhinandan in bid to corner us over the issue but then Pakistan released the statement to return the pilot that evening and the Opposition was dumbfounded.”

On bank frauds:

Elucidating on how his government cracked down on loan defaulters, the Prime Minister added, “We have made stringent laws to confiscate properties of economic offenders who have absconded from India. Properties worth Rs 14,000 crore belonging to Vijay Mallya have been seized even though total liability against him stands at Rs. 9,000 crores.”