Washington: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan vehemently attacked Pakistan and China, saying India today is different from what it used to be in 1962 and affirmed that the country "would not spare" anyone on the issue of terrorism.
Chouhan, who arrived in the US capital on Sunday on a nearly week-long visit, said India is no longer the country it was in 1962 and this was realised by China whose troops had to withdraw from Doka La because of the determination shown by Indian soldiers and the emergence of a strong India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"India today is not the country of 1962," Chouhan said, amid applause from the audience. He was addressing the Indian-American community at a reception organised by the Indian embassy.
His comment on China was an apparent reminder of the then defence minister Arun Jaitley's remarks during the stand-off. "The situation in 1962 was different and India of 2017 is different," Jaitley said when asked about China's warning that the Indian Army should learn "historical lessons".
On 28 August, India and China agreed to "expeditious disengagement" of border personnel at the face-off site in Doka La following diplomatic communications after over two months standoff.
Chouhan said there would be "no compromise" on terrorism, in a veiled warning to neighbouring Pakistan, which is accused of harbouring terrorists on its soil. "India would not spare anyone, if any (nation) tries to provoke us on the issue of terrorism," Chouhan said, adding that India is the greatest advocate of world peace and does not want to provoke others.
The visiting chief minister described the India-US friendship under the current dispensation as a "golden age". During his address, he also referred to the recent statements on India made by top American leadership, in particular the ones by US president Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The two largest democracies of the world are now working together not only to strengthen their relationship but also for the global good, he said.
In addition to visiting New York later this week, Chouhan would also deliver a key note address on integral humanism at the inaugural Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Forum at the US Capitol on Monday afternoon.
While India has been a victim of terrorism for long, it was only under Modi that it carried out surgical strikes against those giving shelter to terrorists, he said. Referring to the recent Doka La incident, Chouhan said Chinese soldiers had to finally return because of the exemplary determination shown by Indian soldiers and the emergence of a "strong India" under Prime
On the two major policy decisions — demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) — Chouhan said only a prime minister of the calibre of Modi could take such courageous decisions. "A normal prime minister cannot take a decision on demonetisation," he said, adding that it can only be taken by one who has the determination to get rid of black money and end corruption.
It is the Modi government which took tough decisions on GST and implemented it, he said. "Modi fulfilled the dream of one nation one tax," he said, adding that the country is marching ahead in every field.
After Modi became prime minister, there has been acceleration in India's development, decisions are being taken at a fast pace and inflation is down. There is an all-round development of the country, he said, exhorting Indian-Americans in joining fellow Indians in the all-round development of the India.
Navtej Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the US, said Chouhan is one of the "most progressive far thinking and visionary leaders" of India. He noted that Madhya Pradesh under his chief ministership has become one of the "fastest growing" states of India.
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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 14:59:39 IST