Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday hit back at the Congress's remarks over the release of the video of the 2016 surgical strikes and said that the latter is acting like a fringe party and emboldening Pakistani militants.
"What does the Congress want to prove? We believe it is emboldening Pakistani militants. The Congress' charge will make terrorists across the border happy and give the Pakistan government a campaign slogan," Prasad said at a press conference in New Delhi.
On Thursday morning, the Congress claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was using the sacrifices of soldiers to garner votes. "The BJP government is using the slogan of 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan' and trying to win votes through surgical strikes." said party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Responding to this, Prasad said Congress has become desperate. "Has the Congress party become so desperate after their electoral defeats, that they will challenge the morale, courage and commitment of the armed forces?" he asked.
"To what extent will the Congress stoop for political partisanship? The video has been confirmed by Lieutenant General DS Hooda, who was sitting in the Centre when the operation was going on. Does the Congress view the surgical strike as a good or a bad thing? They must answer this," said Prasad.
A day after the surgical strike videos were released, Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retired), former Northern Army commander who was directly in-charge of the surgical strikes said, "The videos are real. I can confirm that." "When the surgical strikes happened, my view was that the videos should have been released as proof. It is good that they have come out now."
During the press conference, Prasad also said, "We get votes based on people's blessings. We don't want to do it based on the surgical strikes. But we are proud of the prime minister's courage. Not just us, but our countrymen and the world is too," said Prasad.
Prasad also mentioned the various initiatives related to armed forces undertaken by the defence ministry under Modi. "Rs 2.95 lakh crore has been allotted for defence. There is a defence corridor being created as well. Under the Modi government, there is no Bofors scam, no helicopter, submarine scam. It has never happened and will not happen in the future too. This is what troubles the Congress," charged Prasad.
Nearly two years after the Indian Army conducted "surgical strikes" on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC) in September 2016, video clips have surfaced that show destruction of bunkers and other military constructions as well as casualties. TV channels broadcast the videos on Wednesday evening and claimed they accessed it from official sources. The footage was reportedly shot from drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and was shot on thermal imaging cameras used by the army to monitor the operation.
As reported by Zee News, which accessed the videos from the Indian Army, the surgical strikes was monitored from New Delhi by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, then army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Pakistan, however, denied that any such strikes had taken place, and instead maintained that it was "unprovoked firing" by India that killed two of its soldiers.
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Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 14:36:35 IST