New Delhi: Nine days after terrorists believed to be from Pakistan attacked an air force base, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday pain must be inflicted on those who hurt India.
In one of the strongest statements following the attack, the minister said the time, manner and place of the response will be decided by India.
He, however, refrained from naming Pakistan, and referred to "individuals and organisations" that hurt India.
Addressing a seminar here ahead of the Army day, the minister talked about the "enemy": "Unless pain can be transmitted to them, they will always end up giving pain to us. I am pained when my soldier dies."
But Parrikar stressed this was his view and should not be taken as the view of the Narendra Modi government.
"How, when and place (to inflict pain) should be of your choice," he went on. "But if someone is harming the country, I think the particular individual or organisation should receive the pain of such activity."
The seminar was on the Indigenisation of the Indian Army in a Futuristic Context, held at the Manekshaw Centre here.
Parrikar's comments followed the January 2 terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab which left seven security personnel dead.
Security forces killed all six terrorists, believed to be Pakistanis who sneaked into Punjab.
The minister also said soldiers should aim at neutralising the enemy and "our own casualties should be minimal".
"The aim should be taking life, not giving. Sacrifice is respected... But what nation needs is that you neutralise your enemy, the nation's enemy," he added.
India says it has provided "actionable evidence" to Pakistan to act against those who masterminded the Pathankot attack.