GURGAON: India has neither forgotten nor will forget the Pulwama terror attack and the country's leadership is "capable and courageous" to mete out effective responses to such acts, NSA Ajit Doval said Tuesday.
Speaking for the first time about the attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir, the national security advisor (NSA) asked the paramilitary force to "constantly" enhance their professionalism, training, physical capabilities and quick response skills.
"What should we do? What should be our way, our aim and our response and time to respond? The country's leadership is both capable and courageous to (do) that," Doval said.
"The country will tackle all such challenges and we have the courage to do this," he said while addressing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on the paramilitary force's 80th raising day celebrations at its group centre here.
Doval began his 16-minute speech by paying tributes to the 40 personnel who were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist blew up his explosives-laden vehicle alongside their bus, which was part of a convoy going from Jammu to Srinagar.
The country has not forgotten and will not forget the terror attack, Doval said, referring to the Pulwama incident.
The NSA reiterated that the leadership of the country is fully capable to deal with any act of terror and also against those who abet it.
Doval, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is believed to be the person behind the planning of the air strike on a JeM camp in Balakot in Pakistan.
The strike was carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in retaliation to the Pulwama terror incident, which was one of the worst attack on security personnel in Kashmir in three decades.
The Pulwama attack was a "very sad incident", Doval said, adding that the country will always be indebted to these personnel and their families.
He asked CRPF personnel to "not look back" as they have a golden future ahead.
"If your morale is high, then the country's future is safe," the retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and chief of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), said.
World history is replete with examples when weak internal security mechanisms led to loss of independence, constitutional crises and collapse of governments, he said.
Doval said after World War II, out of the 37 nations that faced such crisis, 28 suffered it because of internal security problems.
Therefore, the CRPF, as the lead internal security force of the country has an important role and onerous responsibility in ensuring peace, and law and order, he said.
Doval praised the force for its quick response in moving from one conflict or combat theatre to the another in a short time and for being a very "credible" force for the Indian government when it comes to ensuring law and order anywhere in the country.
He said anywhere in the country if there is a internal security challenge, "you will find CRPF's tackling it" The CRPF, with about 3 lakh personnel, has 246 operational battalions, and was raised in 1939 as the Crown Representatives Police during British rule.
It was re-named as the CRPF in 1949. It was granted the President's colour this day in 1950 by the first home minister of the country, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
It is the highest honour bestowed on a force in recognition of exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both during war and peace.
This is the second time that Doval attended as chief guest a martial event conducted by any of the Central Armed Police Forces since he was appointed the NSA by the Modi government in 2014.
Doval had reviewed an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) parade in 2015 when the force guarding the China border marked its 54th years of raising.
During the event, the NSA also decorated CRPF jawans and officers with gallantry medals that were announced on the occasion of the Republic Day this year.