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Abhinandan has made us proud, says Modi

S.Murari

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released by Pakistan earlier in the day after being taken prison following a dog fight over the line of control, “has made all of us proud”.

Speaking at a public meeting in Kanyakumari after inaugurating development schemes for Rs 40 crore , Prime Minister Modi said Abhinandan had done proud not just Tamil Nadu, but the whole of India. Modi also noted that it was a matter of pride that the nation’s woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman was also from Tamil Nadu.

This was the first time that Modi spoke of Abhinandan after his MiG Bison jet crashed into Pakistan territory after shooting down an F16 jet fighter that crossed the line of control.

Modi said it was regrettable that the opposition was politicising even the war on terror, starting from the fidayeen attack on CRPF jawans in Srinagar and the consequent air raids on Jaish camps in Balakot in Pakistan.

Apparently referring to the opposition critic that terror-related violence in Jammu Kashmir had increased manifold in the last five years of his rule, Modi listed the terror attacks in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and other cities carried from Pakistan- based terror groups between 2004 and 2014 when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

Modi said after the terror strike in Uri, India responded with a surgical strike in Pakistan-held Kashmir. The Pulwama terror attack on CRPF jawans had been replied with an air strike well into Pakistani boundary, but aimed only on terror camps. He said India had sent a clear signal that it would carry out more such strikes so long as terrorism emenating from Pakistan endangered our security.

He said that the opposition parties, by politicising the war on terror were only playing into the hands of Pakistan. He said: “Modi may be here and gone tomorrow, But India has to live on. Don’t turn hatred for Modi against our armed forces”.