Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday criticised Pakistan again for Thursday’s attack on Central Reserve Police Personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, and urged people to have patience and faith in the security forces, PTI reported.

The security forces have been given a free hand to punish the perpetrators of the attack, he reiterated at a public meeting in Yavatmal district. Jawans would decide “what, where, when and how the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack will be punished,” the Hindustan Times quoted the prime minister as saying.

Modi, who launched a number of projects, said Pakistan has become a synonym for terrorism. “A nation which came into existence after Partition and encourages terror activities, and which is on the verge of bankruptcy, has now become the second name for terror,” he added.

Modi asserted that the country was in deep pain over what had happened in Pulwama. “The sacrifice of the CRPF personnel martyred in Pulwama will not go in vain,” he said. “Perpetrators of the crime will be punished.”

The prime minister’s statement on Pakistan’s alleged role in the Pulwama attack came a day after he urged voters in Uttar Pradesh to elect his Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and ensure a strong government at the Centre. Modi made the pitch towards the end of a speech in Jhansi, hours after the BJP had said it was cancelling all political events in the wake of the attack.

At Saturday’ public meeting in Yavatmal, the prime minister also spoke of his government’s development works. He recalled his visit to Dabhadi in the district on March 20, 2014, for a “chai pe charcha” programme. “We had discussed the issues facing the country and promised to work to address all of them,” Modi said, and asked those present at the event whether they were happy with the work and the efforts he was making. “I have worked sincerely to fulfil the assurances,” he added.

The prime minister pointed out that people had voted for a strong government four-and-a-half years ago. “It is because of your vote that the government could work with clean intentions, he added. “If there was a mistake from your end, we would have remained where we were.”

Modi appealed to those present at the meeting to strengthen the trust shown in development and bless their “pradhan sevak [chief servant”, a reference to himself, once again.