<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected claims by the Congress party that the Indian Army had conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan in the past. He added that while the credit for the strikes goes to the armed forces and the people of India, the government should be “cheered” for its “bold” decision.”In about two years as the Defence Minister, I have not learnt about any surgical strikes any time earlier,” said Parrikar, while speaking at an event organised by the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) in Bandra.”What probably they are referring to is the action taken by border action teams. These are common practices across the globe and also in the Indian Army. The local commander takes punitive action against the opponent who has been troubling him to settle scores. It is not official action approved by the government,” he added, stating that these reports were sent to the government subsequently.Parrikar said the decision for surgical strikes was taken by the government. “This was announced by the army itself. If we were to take political credit, the Defence Minister would have announced it,” he said, calling the action a “one-time operation”.The minister added that “there was a burden of helplessness among the 127 crore citizens and 13.5 lakh army personnel of growing frustration that the enemy is continuously bleeding us through thousand cuts. The enemy does not even bother that there is a hue and cry internationally”. He noted that the steam accumulated over 30 years was vented out after the strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).”The hand of friendship,” Parrikar said, “was probably construed as weakness” when India had tried to patch up with Pakistan, “The country has never thought that strength itself can be a defining force for peace,” he admitted.Referring to threats about unleashing tactical nuclear weapons on India, Parrikar said “we should strengthen ourselves to a level that no one dares challenge us for conventional or non-conventional war”.