Modi Sharif meeting Russia Ufa SCO Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia on 10 July, 2015.IANS

Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi be hawkish when he delivers his second Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Saturday?

The questions assumes significance for two reasons: a spate of terror attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur by alleged Pakistani terrorists, and the Independence Day speeches by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain on the country's Independence Day on 14 August.

While president Hussain spoke of not compromising "if there is any threat to territorial sovereignty," he made no explicit reference to India and instead, referred to Pakistan's fight against terrorism in the context of a the Peshawar school attack that left more than 140 students dead.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq were also present at the Convention Centre where he spoke.   

Sharif too spoke of containing terrorism, saying his government was "determined to end the menace of terrorism and Operation Zarb-e-Azb reflected their resolve."

There was only a passing reference to India. "Pakistan wants to resolve all the longstanding disputes with India, including that of Kashmir, through dialogue," he said.  

It now remains to be seen whether Modi reciprocates to Pakistan's gesture when he delivers his second speech from the Red Fort, a speech that will be observed even for points that he chooses not to make.

On Friday (14 August), Modi greeted Pakistanis on their Independence Day. 

"Greetings and good wishes to the people of Pakistan on their Independence Day," Modi tweeted. 

Will he show his jingoistic streak when he speaks on 15 August, days after two audacious attacks in India, one at Gurdaspur on 27 July, followed by another at Udhampur on 5 August. 

While the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Gurdaspur attack was carried out by Pakistani terrorists, one of the terrorists responsible for the attack on a BSF convoy in Udhampur was captured alive. The Pakistani identity of the captured terrorist, Mohammed Naved (also Naveed), was confirmed by his father Mohammad Yakub to an Indian daily.

The two incidents have raised expectations that the prime minister would use the Independence Day address to deliver a tough message to Pakistan. 

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