‘Surgical strikes showed India’s firm resolve against terror’

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) India showed the world its firm resolve against terrorism when it carried out the surgical strikes on September 29, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said here on Thursday.

“India has shown its might. The world has seen what is the difference between those talking too much and those talking less on the intervening night of September 28 and 29,” Ahir told reporters on the sidelines of a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) event.

The minister was reacting to the rhetoric from Pakistan in the wake of the strikes across the Line of Control.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Border Management and Illicit Trade’ organised by Ficci, Ahir said that India has always tried to improve its ties with neighbouring countries, including Pakistan and China, but the reciprocal gestures have not always been good.

“We believe some tasks cannot be carried out through arms but through dialogue. But, Pakistan has created a lot of problem by indulging in drug-trafficking. This is a persistent challenge which needs to be tackled,” he said.

Ahir also alleged that the “neighbouring country (Pakistan) does not want to see our youths flourish and progress”.

Raising concern over Pakistan and China’s strategy, Ahir also stressed the need to save the minerals and its utilisation.

“Apart from saving our borders, it is necessary to protect the minerals and utilise it properly. China and Pakistan would not easily allow us to take our minerals,” Ahir said.

On the occasion, the minister also released Ficci CASCADE report “Need For Policy Reforms to Combat Illicit Markers”.

Over trans-border smuggling, Ahir said: “Safe borders are critical to nation, hence collaborative and cooperative measures are required as an anti-smuggling initiative in the country.”

He said that the existence and operation of illicit markets such as smuggling had been an enduring problem that had escalated in scope and magnitude, impacting industries, government, economies and, the health and safety of the consumers.

“Moreover, smuggling operations have close links to terror organisations and criminal networks. In fact, it is one of the biggest challenges faced by India and its industry today, tarnishing the country’s image in the global arena,” he said.

Ficci Secretary General Didar Singh said illicit trade and smuggling of products impact India’s economy and industries as well as safety and security of consumers.

India faces a loss of nearly Rs 40,000 crore in taxes due to illegal trade of just seven products, Singh said.

The seminar was attended by over 150 Border Security Force (BSF) officers from across the country.



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