Asserting that India wants peaceful relations with all countries but it should not be treated as its weakness, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said security forces have been directed to give a "befitting" reply to ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
Referring to recent incidents of firing from across the Line of Control, the home minister said he has directed the Border Security Force "not to keep showing white flag" if the violations by Pakistan continue.
"I have asked the BSF DG to tell his force to give a befitting reply to firing from Pakistan," Singh said, addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Vijay Sankalp Yatra' at Hathin in Haryana's Palwal district on Sunday evening.
He said the BSF DG had told him that "we have on 15 occasions shown white flags, but Pakistan is repeatedly indulging in firing".
"I told the BSF DG that if Pakistan does not desist and keeps going on with its violations, give straight orders (to the BSF troops) that next time white flag will not be shown, but firing will be started (from the Indian side)," he said.
He said that during the last ten years of the Congress rule, "not only among people of India, but also around the globe, there was a perception ground that we are a weak state”. "But now after the formation of the Modi government, the world has changed that perception."
India is no longer considered a "weak" and a soft state, he said. "We are not weak, we have full capability to give a befitting reply," Singh warned.
He stressed that India wants friendly relations with all countries, in particular with its neighbours, and as a step in that direction, the heads of state of India's neighbouring nations had been invited for the new government's oath taking ceremony. He noted that the Pakistan prime minister also attended the ceremony.
Singh, however, lamented that while all neighbouring countries had responded positively for building healthy and peaceful relations with India, Pakistan "has chosen to ignore this and is behaving in such a manner".
"It (Pak) is repeatedly violating ceasefire and indulging in firing," he said.
Singh said that even today India wants to build better relations with Pakistan, but it must desist from its "nefarious" designs.
Image: Indian Army soldiers patrol along the Line of Control