Lucknow: Troops have been given a free hand to give a befitting reply in case there is any misadventure on part of the "enemy", Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday while contending that the country is "totally safe" under the Narendra Modi government.
To questions being raised by some political parties on surgical strikes, he said, "the race to ask for evidence reflects their fear that this will further improve the image of Prime Minister."
He equated Pakistan to empty utensils which make the "most noise" and said there is no need to give any importance to it.
"If terrorists attack us, they will be given a befitting reply... If they dare any such move in the future, strict action will be taken against them... There is no stopping in this regard," Parrikar said at an event in Lucknow.
"There will be no compromise with the security of the country and the nation is totally safe under the Narendra Modi-led government," he said.
Talking in the context of the situation on the Pakistan border where tensions are high, the Defence Minister said, "The army jawans have been given a free hand that if there is any misadventure on the part of the enemy, they should be given a befitting reply."
He added, "it is always better to kill the enemy than sacrificing our lives. It will be more beneficial."
People of the country have complete faith in their army that they do what they say, Parrikar said.
"For the past 20 to 22 years, the country has been facing terror attacks.. people had started believing that nothing could be done that either we do not have that capability or there is no permission for it.
"People also knew that we had the strength but political decisions were not being taken .. but the decision was taken under the leadership of Narendra Modi and the entire mood has changed in the country after surgical strike", he stressed.
Taking a dig at Pakistan, Parrikar said, "there is an old saying that when the utensil is empty it makes the most noise... We are hearing a lot of noise in the neighbourhood.. there is no need to give it any importance".
Commenting on a remark made earlier by a speaker who described him as a "simple person", Parrikar said though he is simple, he knows about the "crookedness" of others and can take care of them for the security of the country.
He emphasised that the morale of the troops should be kept high so that they can face all the challenges thrown at
The Defence Minister said there has also been some respite in the kind of atmosphere which has been created in Kashmir. "The army has taken a firm stand," he stressed.