"If you come and do something here...": EAM S Jaishankar on India's "message" against terrorism after Uri and Pulwama terror attacks

MUMBAI: Reminding "non-response" to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India gave a 'clear message' against terrorism with the surgical strike and airstrikes after the terror attacks in Uri and Pulwama.

He said that the world was sympathetic with India after 26/11 but also wanted New Delhi not to create any 'tensions' with Islamabad. The EAM added that it was because India had not worked to "delegitimize terrorism" and convince the world that it is a danger for everyone globally.

Jaishankar was speaking at an event titled 'India's Vishwabandhu Approach to Global Relations' at the Constitution Club in Mumbai on Monday.

"When 26/11 happened you all know what our response was or to be very frank, what our non-response was. But you also know that our response was very different in Uri and Balakot. And there was a reason. Because Uri was across the Line of Control and Balakot was across the international boundary," Jaishankar said addressing the event.

"So the message was, if you come and do something here, you may be across the LoC, you may be across the international boundary- we will still come and get you there," he added.

A group of heavily armed terrorists from the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba unleashed mayhem on the streets of Mumbai on November 26, 2008, spraying bullets on unarmed civilians at multiple key public installations in the city. The attacks left over 166 dead, including foreigners, and over 300 injured.

India carried out a surgical strike against terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in response to an attack at an army base in Uri, Kashmir in 2016. In 2019, after the Pulwama attack which killed over 40 Indian soldiers the Indian Air Force carried out an airstrike against Pakistani terror camps in Balakot.

The EAM further said that India had not lobbied the world against terrorism and couldn't make them understand that anyone can be the victim of the menace.

"Now, I want you to think for a moment, about the reaction of the world. When 26/11 happened, everybody said yes very bad, we sympathize with you...but do not create tensions with Pakistan. Because we had not lobbied the world, we had not made the world understand what terrorism is, it is a danger for all...Today, it is my turn, tomorrow it will be yours," the EAM said.

Further elaborating why the world understood India's response in Uri and Balakot but was 'tense' after the 26/11 attacks, Jaishankar said being a 'Vishwa Bandhu' a country can carry the world with its viewpoint.

"By the time from 2008, we had reached 2016 actually. We did Uri (surgical strikes) and the world said the Indians did what the Indians had to do. We did Balakot (Air strikes)...- Why was it that the world was understanding about Uri and Balakot, but the world was so tense, or I would say, indifferent on 26/11 because a lot of people sympathized with us, but stopped there," the EAM said.

"And the reason is that we had not made that effort to delegitimize terrorism, to convince the world...Being Vishwa Bandhu, if you are able to carry the world with your viewpoint, you are that much stronger, you have that ability," he added.

Earlier in the day, EAM Jaishankar also attended an interaction with investors, students, and social media influencers, wherein he emphasized that India needs a "strong and experienced" government.

"A very productive day in Mumbai, interacting with investors, social media influencers, students and intellectuals. Stressed that in a turbulent and uncertain world, India needs a strong and experienced Government with the judgement and confidence to take the right calls. The last 10 years have laid the foundation for Viksit Bharat. Our choices now will ensure that we will progress towards that goal by 2047," Jaishankar said in a social media post on X.


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