Mumbai: In a veiled warning to Pakistan, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani proclaimed on Saturday that India is a tolerant nation but also confident enough to have a surgical strike.
In an interactive session with students at a Mumbai college, Irani was asked whether India and Pakistan would ever be good neighbours.
To this, she quipped, "You can change your friends, but you can never change your neighbours, Can you?"
"We as a country are a tolerant nation, cognizant of the fact that we live in a delicate environment, and while these are issues of national and international importance where you do not want me to do chest-thumping, as a Minister of Information and Broadcasting, we are, as a country, today confident enough to have a surgical strike and let the world speak about our powers," Irani continued.
The question, as well as Irani's response to it, comes in the backdrop of the terror attack on Sunjwan army camp in Jammu and Kashmir, earlier in the day.
"We have forever embraced peace and have never been aggressors but anybody who has tried to breach our boundaries has been met with the might of India," Irani added.
On September 29, 2016, eleven days after the Uri attack, the Indian army had conducted surgical strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistani-administered Kashmir.