23:08 GMT27 May 2020
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    The tensions between Pakistan and India sparked fears of a full-scale war when Pakistan downed an Indian jet conducting a mission over the disputed region of Kashmir. The pilot of the jet was taken into Pakistani custody, but was released two days after the incident as a gesture of good will from Islamabad.

    Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has called on opposition parties not to "weaken India" for the sake of politics, the Times of India reports.

    Speaking at a meeting in the coastal Indian town of Kanyakumari on Friday, the prime minister accused the opposition of transforming their "Modi hatred" into "hating India," and said the opposition's sentiments support the Pakistani cause.

    According to Modi, the strength of India lies in unwavering support of the Indian Armed Forces. He cited the military's swift response to the 2016 attack in Uri and the recent attack in Pulwama by militants — "returning the damage done by the terrorists with interest" — as an example of Indian strength, and pointed out that casting doubt over the Indian Armed forces weakens the entire nation and therefore should be unacceptable, even for the opposition.

    "Sadly, a few political parties, guided by Modi hatred, have started hating India. No wonder, while the entire nation supports our armed forces, they suspect the armed forces," he added.

    The prime minister accused the opposition of "helping Pakistan" by casting doubts on the military over the recently intensified tension between the two countries caused by the downed Indian fighter jet.

    "These are the same people whose statements are helping Pakistan and harming India," he said. "They are the same people whose statements are being happily quoted in the Parliament of Pakistan and in the radio of Pakistan."

    "Modi might go. India will remain. Do not weaken our nation to strengthen your politics. We are Indians first. Your politics can wait," Modi said.

    He also addressed the issue of corruption, lauding the current administration's hard stance on corruption and the nationwide economic advances achieved under his rule.

    "For many years, the [Indian National] Congress promoted an economic culture that benefited only the friends and family members of big dynasties," he said. "My only family is 130 crore [1.3 billion] Indians. I will live for them. I will die for them. I am not in public life to further a dynasty. I am here to do whatever I can for the growth of India."


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    speech, opposition, Indian Armed Forces, Narendra Modi, India, Pakistan
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