New Delhi: In a chilling message to Pakistan on Thursday just after the Prime Minister of that country Imran Khan tried to make a virtue out of releasing captured Indian MiG-21 Bison pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Now we have to do the real thing, it was just a practice session so far.”

PM Modi sent out this cryptic threat to Pakistan while he was speaking at the distribution of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards, the highest scientific award of India.

Without mentioning names, the Prime Minister said, borrowing from lexicons of science, “You people lead your lives in a lab. The practice with you all is to first do a pilot project and then scale it up. A pilot project has just been completed.”

The crowd of scientists warmed up to his comment and broke into an instant, long applause.

The Prime Minister did not stop there. He added, “Now we have to do the real thing. It was just a practice session so far.”

Modi was speaking amid the brouhaha over Imran Khan’s speech in his Parliament where the Pakistani Prime Minister had announced his government’s decision to release Abhinandan was a gesture of goodwill.

While the Pakistan government is bound to release the captured pilot under the Geneva Convention, India cornered the Pakistani establishment by mobilising international opinion. A speedy outcome to the crisis came through after a tough Indian stand that there was no deal to be made over the piolt’s release. India had made it clear that while Pakistan was trying to recreate the Kandahar scenario, India would not budge from its position until Pakistan showed tangible action against terrorists on its soil.