Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday said surgical strikes should be conducted against Pakistan to teach it a lesson as he accused the neighbouring country of pushing drugs into the Indian territory.
Purohit also praised the Punjab government over the issue of drug seizure and tackling drones that are being used to send narcotics from across the border.
The governor was on a two-day visit to the border districts of the state.
He said the next generation must be stopped from becoming addicts at any cost and added that if Pakistan is playing mischief with India, "one or two surgical strikes should be conducted against it".
Purohit expressed satisfaction over the coordination among central agencies, such as the Border Security Force (BSF), Army and Intelligence Bureau, and the Punjab Police.
Addressing the media here, the governor came down heavily on Pakistan for launching a "hidden war" against India, saying it is doing so as it could not engage in a direct fight against the country.
He also expressed concern over the use of drones by Pakistan for pushing drugs and weapons into India and laid an emphasis on effectively countering the same.
"Pakistan has started a hidden war (against India)," Purohit said while expressing concern over a large number of drones being sent by the neighbouring country to smuggle drugs.
He said he was 101 per cent confident that the use of drones was not be possible without the involvement of the Pakistani government or its army.
"They have their involvement in it and they want to destablise us," he said.
Purohit accused the Pakistani establishment of trying to "make our next generation drug addicts", adding that he had received complaints that drugs had reached schools and students were becoming addicts and stealing money from home to support their addiction.
"Come what may, it (drugs) has to be stopped," the governor asserted.
He said surgical strikes should be conducted against Pakistan.
"Till now, India has not retaliated. I am not the authority, but it comes to mind that Pakistan is playing mischief with us. One or two surgical strikes should be conducted against it. It should be taught a lesson to set it right. Something must be done," Purohit said.
India had conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 29, 2016 as a response to a terror attack on an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri sector.
Purohit appreciated the efforts of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab and also of central agencies in tackling cross-border drugs smuggling.
"As a government, on this issue, it is making an effort that is commendable. The entire team is working with dedication. DCs (deputy commissioners) and SSPs (senior superintendents of police) are working with full dedication," he said.
"Overall, after pursuing a lot of things, I must appreciate the state government and its officers," the governor added.
Replying to a question on some AAP leaders questioning his visit to the border districts, Purohit said he is a governor who is never involved in politics.
"What I feel is good, I appreciate. I again say that I praise police and the state government. The way (radical preacher) Amritpal (Singh) was arrested, it is appreciable," he said.
"What is the meaning of criticism? My job is to appreciate. I do not criticise," Purohit said.
However, he also said if the state government deviates from the Constitution, he will point it out and "whether they are happy or upset, I do not bother".
"It is my duty (to point out) if the government goes out of the ambit of the Constitution. It is my job and I swore to protect the Constitution. By all means, I will protect the Constitution. Whether the government likes it or not is immaterial for me. I do not have to see their faces. My job is to see whether the government is run as per the Constitution," he said.
But as of now, with regards to drug seizure, border security and tackling the issue of drones, a lot of efforts are being made, he added.
Purohit also emphasised that village defence committees are being formed in all the six border districts and they would be operational within a 10-kilometre area with the help of the state police.
He said the committees will work on a war footing to stop drugs smuggling from Pakistan.
Purohit further said on next year's Republic Day, a reward will be given to three members each from the village defence committees of the six border districts.
A reward of Rs 3 lakh will be given for the first position, Rs 2 lakh for the second and Rs 1 lakh for the third position, he said.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.