NDTV drops Chidambaram's interview on surgical strikes, says India's security can't be compromised

Even as the Centre and the Opposition are at loggerheads over the validity of 29 September surgical strikes by the Indian Army along the Line of Control (LoC), NDTV on Friday, decided not to air any views questioning the strikes and dropped an interview with former home minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on the issue, The News Minute reported.

"National security cannot be compromised by politics. The current political debate threatens to do this. NDTV will not air any remarks that risk security for political advantage," NDTV had tweeted on 6 October.

On 3 October, the Congress had asked the government to put forth credible evidence of last week's surgical strikes to expose Pakistan's false propaganda.


The graphic by NDTV that played on the 9 pm. Courtesy: Twitter/@ndtv

Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma had said Pakistan was misleading its people by claiming that no such attack had taken place.

In that backdrop, it would be necessary for the prime minister to "expose" Pakistan by putting forth credible evidence about the surgical strikes on the intervening night of 28 and 29 September, Sharma said.

"The government must expose Pakistan's denial. It has all the tools and instruments to do so," he had said.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal too had asked the prime minister to present evidence of the strike to give a befitting reply to Pakistan.

"Since the last two days, Pakistan is taking international journalists to the border and trying to show that surgical strikes never took place. Two days back, the United Nations gave a statement that there was no such activity on the border," he had said.

"My blood boiled over these news reports (of the international media). Pakistan is indulging in smearing India's image at the international level. I appeal to the Prime Minister that the way he and the Army taught Pakistan a lesson on ground, he should also unmask the propaganda by Pakistan at international level. The whole country is with you. I also appeal to the countrymen not to believe in the false campaign by Pakistan," Kejriwal had said.

Cornering the Centre, former home minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday had also said that a major surgical strikes was carried out in 2013 but the then Congress government chose not to publicise it, reported India Today. However, Chidambaram did not ask for any evidence from the government.

Seven terror launch pads across the LoC were targeted by the Army on the night of 28 September in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.

The announcement of the strikes came 11 days after the attack by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir, after which Modi had said the attackers will not go "unpunished" and that they will not be forgiven.

Meanwhile, NDTV put up an expanded editorial policy in a post on Sunday:

NDTV's unflinching and non-negotiable commitment to reporting the news without any filters or allegiance will always be the core of what we stand for and do. It has led in the past to boycotts and threats from parties which had no impact on our journalism - nor will they.

Interviews find space on our channels based on their relevance and newsworthiness in a continuum of developments. An interview that ran in part or in whole during the day may not make the cut for prime time news. This is standard for any newsroom.

On matters of wild and unsubstantiated allegations, of which there is no shortage today in the country's politics, we will not report them without the accuser offering proof that has been verified by us and found to be news-worthy.

This is our policy for matters of national security as well as for the daily grind of politics. Each interview and press conference that we report on is subject to the same criteria. We cover LIVE press conferences and we repeat newsworthy excerpts only after we have independently verified the facts.

The army's deep courage and sacrifices will be reported on, as will, when and if they occur, transgressions which bear investigation and examination that are based in fact and not speculation.

At a time when anything goes as far as the news is concerned, it is gratifying that NDTV's standards have impelled a debate among and outside news organisations.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2016 14:11 PM

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