New Delhi, (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday acknowledged the nation-wide anger after the Uri terror attack that killed 18 soldiers and vowed that the perpetrators of the “cowardly” act would not be spared.
Modi, however, refrained from naming Pakistan in his monthly radio broadcast “Mann ki Baat” even as the government has said the four attackers who struck at the army base in Jammu and Kashmir had come from across the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border that divides the state between the two countries.
“Recently, we lost 18 bravehearts in a terror attack in Uri. I salute and pay my tributes to these martyrs,” the Prime Minister said, opening the address that was aired on the state-run All India Radio.
“This cowardly act was enough to shake the nation. There is sorrow and deep resentment in the country,” Modi said.
“This is a loss not only for those who lost their sons, brothers and husbands. It is a loss for the entire nation. And that is why I reiterate today what I had said on the day of the attack: The culprits will be punished for sure,” he said.
Modi hailed the Indian Army and expressed his confidence in the armed forces in battling terrorism.
“We have full confidence in the Indian Army and are proud of them. While politicians speak, military acts to show valour. They speak through their bravery,” the Prime Minister said.
India has said the militants who attacked the army camp in Uri near the LoC had come from Pakistan.
Islamabad has denied the allegation even as New Delhi says it has incriminating evidences to prove that the four attackers, who were killed in the Uri gunfight, belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammed and had come from Pakistan.
The Uri assault has plummeted the already frosty India-Pakistan ties to a new low amid apprehensions it may even trigger an armed conflict between the two nuclear-powered neighbours.
But Modi chose to calm the tempers and urged the nation to channelize the anger into a positive and constructive nation-building approach.
He said a Class 11 student named Harshvardhan who was disturbed by the Uri attack had written to him saying he wanted to do something for the country.
The Prime Minister said the youngman took a “resolve that he would study for three extra hours daily, be a good citizen and serve the nation”.
Modi said the “healthy” and “constructive” thinking of this young man was inspiring for all to take the “nation to new heights”.
The attack at the army base and subsequent souring of the ties between India and Pakistan came as the Kashmir Valley continues to battle the deadliest unrest in six years that has left 90 people dead since the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Normal life remained disrupted for the 80th day on Sunday. Schools, colleges, offices and other businesses have remained closed due the turmoil and there are no signs of a respite from daily protests and shutdowns called by separatists.
Modi referred to the hardships being faced by Kashmiri people because of the unrest and said people of the valley have begun recognizing “anti-nationals” and walking the road to peace.
“Every (Kashmiri) parent wants schools and colleges to open as soon as possible. Farmers also want that their produce, ripened fruits etc, should reach the markets of entire India. Economic activities should work normal. For the past few days, trade activities have begun functioning normaly.”
He said he was hopeful that a “solution to every problem (in Kashmir) can be found together”.
“We will find the ways. We will together find the greatest path for the future generations of Kashmir,” he said, assuring the people of Kashmir that their security was the “responsibility of the administration”.