BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Sunday told Pakistan to shun its anti-India attitude and stop backing terrorism against India.
In his first rally after being chosen the prime ministerial candidate Friday, Modi told a massive rally of ex-soldiers in this Haryana town that promoting gun culture had done Pakistan no good over the last 60 years.
"The rulers in Pakistan should resolve that they will not allow terrorists to (operate) in Pakistan for 10 years, will not protect terrorists, will not allow its soil to be the breeding ground for terrorists. "I can say with authority that if this happens, Pakistan will see the progress that it has not seen in the last 60 years (since it got independence)," he said.
Modi said Pakistan had "converted India into a war zone through its war mindset and support for terrorism. "Earlier, the war used to take place on the border. But when you (Pakistan) could not defeat the Indian Army, you started going for killing innocent citizens. Killing innocents through cross border terrorism is neither going to help Pakistan nor India."
Amid cheers, Modi went on: "You cannot progress with anti-India tirade. You cannot progress on this basis... For you own interests and for the youth of your country, you should rethink the wrong path you have chosen in the last 60 years and step back."
"I want to tell the rulers whether it is of Bangladesh, India or Pakistan: if we have to fight, we should fight against poverty, illiteracy and other ills."
Thousands of people, including former soldiers, turned up for Modi's first public rally as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.
Sharing the dais were former army chief VK Singh and several retired military officers.