Srinagar: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi Sunday said that he had warned Pakistan of consequences if it did not return Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He said a “senior American official” had said India was “ready with 12 missiles”, and there would be a “qatal ki raat” (night of murder).
Addressing a poll rally in Gujarati, Modi, while referring to the Balakot air strike, said: “The second day, Pakistan thought to experiment in order to please their people, so they flew their aircraft. But we immediately did a dhamaka and destroyed one of their aircraft… They trembled… Our pilot was caught, they thought they got something by chance. So they (Opposition) said what about our pilot’s life, they forgot about this major attack a day before… But in the afternoon we said at the press conference, Pakistan beware, if our pilot is harmed, then don’t tell the world what Modi did to you,” he said.
“On the second day, America’s one spokesperson had issued a statement, America’s President had issued a statement, that India would do something big. A top man in America had issued a statement that Modi was ready with 12 missiles. That the situation was serious, so it was good that Pakistan announced the return of the Indian pilot, or else it would be a ‘qatal ki raat’ (night of murder). America said this, I don’t have to say much now, I will speak when the time comes,” said Modi.
Modi seemed to confirm reports, which had been earlier denied by official sources, that India had threatened to launch 12 missiles against Pakistan if it did not return Abhinandan.
Indian official sources had then said that Pakistan was whipping up a war psychosis and there was no truth to these reports. With Modi mentioning an American official who said that India was going to fire 12 missiles, the reports about a third party mediation also seem to have been confirmed.
Modi said that the Balakot air strike was something people expected from him. “When Pulwama happened, what did the country expect Modi to do? Would you, would the country have pardoned me had I done what the Manmohan Singh government did after 26/11,” he asked.
“They (Pakistan) made tight arrangements, but being worshippers of Lord Hanuman, our people conducted the air strike and their story was over,” he said. “I have decided that whether this (PM’s) chair remains or not, till the time I am alive, there will be no terrorism,” said Modi.