Coming out in full support of India after the surgical strikes across the LoC, Russia has said that India is justified in retaliating to Pakistan’s cross-border terrorism. In an interview to CNN-News 18, Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander M Kadakin has said that Russia has always stood by India to fight cross-border terrorism. Asked if India is justified in carrying out the surgical strikes after the Uri terrorist attack, Kadakin smiled and said, “…otherwise we would not have welcomed it”.
Talking about his country’s stand on the growing tensions between India and Pakistan, Kadakin said, “Russia has very clearly expressed its attitude in two statements by the Foreign ministry after the Uri attack. It was plainly mentioned. The only which country which said in plain words that those terrorists and bandits came from Pakistan territory.” “In the second statement, we have called upon the government of Pakistan to take all necessary steps to stop this menace of transporting terrorism on this territory. That we said openly, that is what we feel. Of course, we have always been together with India in opposing and fighting cross-border terrorism,” he added. “We are against terrorist attacks across the border against India. We are openly telling Pakistan about this,” he reiterated.
Watch: Russia backs surgical strikes, asks Pakistan to stop terror activities
Asked if India has the “full right” to retaliate to Pakistan’s aggression, Kadakin said, “Well, any country has to defend itself from such kind of trans-border terrorism.” On the issue of Pakistan raising alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, he felt that terrorism is the worst form of such acts. “The greatest human rights violation takes place when these gangs of terrorists come and attack either military targets in India or peaceful population in villages. That is the worst form of human rights abuse,” he said.
Seeking to assure India on the ongoing joint military exercises between Russia and Pakistan, Kadakin said, “India should not be concerned at all about the exercises because it is a normal practise among states to have military exercises. The theme of the exercise is anti-terror fight, that is in India’s interest that we will be teaching Pakistani Army how not to use Army for terror attacks.” “More than that there was a lot of speculation in the press about the place of the exercise. It was not held in any of the sensitive or problematic territories like Gilgit Baltistan or the Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said in a clear statement that acknowledged that Russia considers Kashmir to be a part of India.