WHILE Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to discuss the security scenario in the wake of India’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads along LoC, the ruling BJP said Wednesday there is no need for releasing any evidence as being demanded by some.
BJP maintained that demanding proof for the armed forces’ action would be against national interest and national security. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and some Congress leaders have urged the government to provide proof of the strikes to counter what they call Pakistan’s propaganda questioning the authenticity of the operation. “Why should we disclose video clips and other proof? How can we make Army secrets public? It is a question of national security and it will be against national interest,” said BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma.
Sharma pointed out that in the past India had submitted evidence for the Mumbai terror attack and Pathankote attack. “Has anything happened? What action Pakistan has taken against the culprits? How long will we keep giving in to their demands? Now, we will respond only through action, not through words or evidence,” he said. This comes the day The Indian Express, speaking to eyewitnesses across the LoC, reported on their graphic accounts of the strikes: short, intense fire in Dudhnial; loud explosions; damage to property; five or six bodies of suspected jihadists being loaded on trucks; attack in Leepa and near the military camps along the Katha Nar stream that empties into the Neelum river.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said the Army would have some evidence and they must have handed it over to the Prime Minister. “The Prime Minister can use his discretion on whether it should be made public or not.”
India’s armed forces had launched “surgical strikes” along the LoC on terrorist launch pads operating in PoK on the intervening night of September 28-29. However, Pakistan denied any such operation and said that only two of its soldiers were killed in the cross-border firing that took place during the night. With the AAP and some Congress leaders demanding for evidences for the strike, the BJP has condemned them saying it would demoralise the armed forces. Sharma slammed the Opposition political leaders for raising questions. “This debate, originated from the other side of the border, is not good for the country or its interests. The Opposition leaders’ demands have just given fillip to Pakistan to raise questions,” he said adding that the neighbour’s attempts would be futile as the BJP-led government has succeeded in isolating Pakistan at the international level.
Hansraj Ahir said raising questions on the operation conducted by the Armed forces is equal to “humiliating” them. Some reports quoted Ahir as saying that the Army had handed over the video clips to the government.
But when contacted, he told The Indian Express: “What I said was that Army must have handed over the evidence to the Prime Minister and it is up to the PM to decide on whether they should be released or not.”
He said the Army so far has gone by the procedure. “The laid down procedure has been followed. The DGMO briefed the media about the surgical strikes. That was the right thing to do. Earlier, written documents were submitted to the government. Now that there is so much technology upgradation, video clips could be there. If there were clips, the Army must have submitted it to the Prime Minister,” he said.
Ahir said the US had not released video clips or any other documents on the killing of Osama bin Laden. “Usually, such things do not go public,” the minister said.