New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the surgical strike was a ‘big risk’ but he had told the Army commandos going across the border to return safely irrespective of the mission’s success or failure.
“I gave clear orders that whether you get success or failure, don’t think about that but come back before sunrise. Don’t fall for the lure and prolong it,” said PM Modi in an exclusive interview to ANI.
“I Knew it was a big risk. I never care about any political risk to me. The biggest consideration for me was the safety of our soldiers,” he added.
Referring to the surgical strike, PM Modi said it would be wrong to think that Pakistan will learn its lesson with just one battle. He added that it would take time to make Pakistan mend its way.
“Thinking that Pakistan will improve after one war will be a big mistake, it will take more time to cultivate,” he said.
Click Here For Highlights of PM Modi’s Interview
PM Modi, while revealing details of the military action for the first time, said that the date of the attack was changed twice, keeping in mind the safety and security of the troops.
The strikes were carried out days after terrorists attacked an army camp in Kashmir’s Uri, killing 20 soldiers.
The prime minister said that the surgical strikes were planned as there was a “rage” building up within him as well as the Army after soldiers were burnt alive in the terror attack in Uri.
Emphasising that he was determined to see that none of the soldiers died in the operation, he said that had told them that they must return before sunrise even if they fail.
PM Modi revealed that he was keeping tab of the risky operation throughout the night and was getting live information. He said he didn’t want any harm to come to the commandos who were “willing to sacrifice their lives on our words”.
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He said he was “anxious” throughout the time the soldiers were on the other side of the Line of Control and the moments became “extremely difficult” when the information flow stopped for about an hour in the morning.
“In the morning, information flow stopped, for an hour. My anxiety increased. Even one hour after sunrise. That time was extremely difficult for me… Then came the information that two-three units have reached the safe zone, so don’t worry. But I said I won’t breathe easy till the last man returns,” he said.
On politicisation of the surgical strike, PM Modi said, “An Army officer apprised the nation of the operation. That information was given to Pakistan as well… But it was unfortunate for the country that some parties raised doubts over the surgical strikes,” he said. “It was necessary for Pakistan to deny the strikes, to keep their morale intact. But Pakistan’s line was being repeated here too. Politicisation started from that point.”
PM Modi said that lauding the valour of soldiers was the duty of the government as well as citizens. “If we don’t hail the valour of those who stake their lives for the country, who will? So praising the Army should not be considered as politicisation,” he said.
However, the Prime Minister refused to say whether the objectives of the surgical strikes were achieved, considering that cross-LoC terror attacks haven’t ceased. “It would be improper to discuss the matter in the public domain,” he asserted. “But it would be a big mistake to think that Pakistan will start behaving after one fight. It will take a long time for Pakistan to start behaving.”