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"Uri and Balakot sent their own message": Jaishankar on India's response to cross-border terrorism

New Delhi: Calling the national security a complicated calculus in today's times, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted India's response to Chinese incursions at the Line of Actual control (LAC) and towards cross-border terrorism from Pakistan through its ferocious responses in Uri and Balakot.

India carried out a surgical strike against terror units in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in 2016 in response to an attack at an army base in Uri, Kashmir. 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 was giving the Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru Memorial Lectures 2024 at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Convention Centre, on the topic of 'Bharat and the World'.

Addressing the event on Monday, Jaishankar said, "The calculus of national security has become much more complicated. Traditional methods of competing and pressuring are buttressed by new tools of influence and disruption. Here too, Bharat has pushed back with determination and fortitude."

He said that India has worked on developing border infrastructure, one of the aspect which the EAM said was "long neglected." He added that India's response to the cross-border terrorism were seen in the episodes of Uri and Balakot.

"When we were challenged on the LAC, with China, In the midst of COVID rapid and effective counter deployments were the appropriate answer. Seeking to rectify the long neglected of the border infrastructure. We have made the defence of the nation much more effective," Jaishankar said.

He added, "On the largest stage when it came to the Indo-Pacific. We held firmly to our decision to establish and take forward the Quad. On the Western Front, the long standing challenge of cross-border terrorism now elicits more befitting responses. Believe me, Uri and Balakot sent their own message."

Further, the EAM said that while 'Bharat' won't shy away from answering questions, it also has the courage to question the questioners.

"Economically, Bharat's answer is in greater Atmanirbharta. Politically, a more authentic and rooted representation that will contest the propaganda which will favour the compliant and discredit it. Bharat will never shy away from questions, but equally, Bharat has the courage to question the questioners," he said.

Jaishankar also highlighted how India stood with its stand of procuring cheaper oil from Russia for its domestic interests countering Western pressure.

"The world now looks more volatile and uncertain, demanding independent and confident thinking from us. We have seen that already when it came to our energy procurement choices. Bharat chose the interest of its domestic consumers while resisting international pressure," he further said. 

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