India no longer a soft target, paradigm shift in response to terror, says Rajnath Singh at HTLS 2020

Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that India’s response to terrorism has undergone a nearly 360 degrees turn and the country’s defence mechanism now includes not only investigation of terror activities internally but also externally. Singh reiterated that India is no longer a soft target for terrorists and a few of our neighbours may have to pay a heavy price for making terrorism a state policy.

“There has been a sea-change in the way we deal with terror attacks on our soil. Not only are we investigating within the country but we have also penetrated deep into neighbouring territory to wipe out terror camps in 2019 after the Pulwama attack,” Singh said. He reminded the nation that today’s date November 26 is of paramount importance in the history of national security. It was on this day 12 years ago that a group of heavily armed terrorists sneaked into the country via the sea route and systematically attacked the financial capital of the country—Mumbai.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly brought up the subject of terror-funding at various global forums. It is due to the country’s efforts that neighbours like Pakistan have been forced to explain their stance to global terror watchdogs like the Financial Action Task Force,” Singh said.

In a direct reference to Pakistan and stressing how terrorism was almost a state policy in that country, Singh said that blacklisting by the FATF would eventually prove to be the final nail in the coffin of state-sponsored terror.

The defence minister was speaking at the third day of the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020, in conversation with Prashant Jha, editor-views, Hindustan Times. The session comes at a time when the country is locked in a border standoff with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since May, this year.

State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara and Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel were some of the other speakers attending Thursday’s session of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020.

The theme of Rajnath Singh’s session at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020 was Defining a New Era in National Security.

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