Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Indians Thursday to “stand as a wall” with anger boiling over Pakistan’s capture of a pilot as a crisis escalates between the nuclear-armed rivals.
In his first remarks since India and Pakistan both claimed to have shot down each other’s fighter planes near the disputed border of Kashmir, the prime minister urged his countrymen to unite “as the enemy seeks to destabilize India”.
“In the face of their objective, every Indian should stand as a wall, as a rock,” Modi said.
“The entire country is one today and standing with our soldiers. The world is looking at our collective will and we have faith in our forces’ capacity.
“India will live as one. India will work as one. India will grow as one. India will fight as one. India will win as one.”
Modi did not mention Pakistan by name during the address to party workers. But anger against the neighbor, with whom India has fought three wars since 1947, remains high.
Protesters set ablaze Pakistan’s national flag outside the country’s embassy in New Delhi Thursday. Police detained some but others ran away, witnesses said.