Army Eager to teach enemy a lesson

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The Army is eager to teach a lesson to enemy of the country and it is just waiting for permission from the government, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

"The morale of the Army has gone up. Army wants to teach lesson to our enemy. They are just waiting for permission from the government... We gave them permission two-three times," Parrikar said during BJP's campaign meeting in Vasco on Sunday.

His statement came days after Pakistan conducted a military exercise in a strategically located area in Punjab province bordering India with its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying that they will give a "befitting response" to any "ambitious and reckless move" by its enemies.

Parrikar said, "We want to tell our enemy that if they stare at us, we can stare with bigger eyes."

The minister said the country's borders are secured and no one could dare attack India.

"We are completely committed towards the security of the country. It is not just about tightening the border but we have also given required armaments to the soldiers," he said.

Parrikar said the armed forces in Kashmir have complete power to shoot at those wielding guns, instead of waiting for the terrorists to open fire and "getting martyred".

"When I took over as the Defence minister, the first thing I told them (soldiers) that if you see machine gun or pistol in anyone's hand, don't expect that he has come to say hello to you. Before you get martyred, you should eliminate him," Parrikar said addressing BJP's election rally at Vasco last evening.

"In Kashmir our army was fighting with the terrorists. Congress government had given them direction that till they (terrorist) fires bullet on you, you don't retaliate," he said, claiming that the morale of the Army has gone up since Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has come to power in the Centre.

In the backdrop of intense ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Parrikar said the Indian troops have complete power and they are giving apt reply to the enemy.

"Our soldiers now don't need to seek permission from the Defence Ministry to fire at the person who fires at them. They have complete power and they are giving apt reply to our enemy. I feel bad that some of our soldiers are martyred," the former chief minister said.

Parrikar said it took almost six to eight months for him to understand the functioning of the ministry.

"I was initially not understanding how Defence ministry works. It took 6-8 months for me after that I understood," the former Goa Chief Minister said.

Taking a dig at Congress, Parrikar claimed that after the Bofors scam, the Army did not get a new artillery gun in 30 years until the Narendra Modi government took up the initiative to manufacture "Dhanush" at HAL.

"Tejas aircraft, whose design was on the drawing board for last 33 years, is going to become a reality now. The former governments were not interested as the aircraft was supposed to be built by the government and hence they wouldn't get any commission out of it," he alleged.

Hailing demonetisation of high value currencies, Parrikar said the government has also given importance to "economic security" of the country.

"The country by withdrawing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations has taken the challenge to fight against black money," he added.