IN A first, Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal “saluted” Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the surgical strike carried out by the army. Kejriwal in a video message released Monday said, “I may have a hundred differences with the prime minister but I salute him for the will he has shown in this matter (surgical strikes on Pakistan).”
In the 2-minute 52-second video message, Kejriwal said that after the surgical strikes, Pakistan had resorted to “dirty politics” by denying that such an incident had taken place. He urged the Prime Minister to “unmask the false propaganda of Pakistan” and quell the “lies” being told to the international media.
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Lauding the Indian Army for its courage, Kejriwal said, “Some days ago, 19 of our soldiers were martyred on the Indian border. Last week, our army very bravely avenged that attack. They entered inside (Pakistan) and carried out surgical strikes on terrorist camps… Since these surgical strikes were carried out, Pakistan is completely rattled. It has resorted to dirty politics.”
He alleged that by denying any surgical strikes by India, Pakistan was spreading “lies” through the international media.
“We have seen over the last two days that Pakistan is taking international journalists to the border. They are trying to show that no surgical strikes took place. Two days ago, the United Nations gave a statement that no such activity was seen at the border. Yesterday, there was a CNN report. Their reporter said the Pakistan government had taken a bus full of journalists to the border. There, they said that India had claimed surgical strikes took place here but nothing had happened. They showed that children were playing there, life was going on normally, people continued to live there, there was no evidence of any firing. My blood boiled after seeing that report. The BBC, New York Times also carried news items asking if surgical strikes had actually been carried out,” Kejriwal said in his message delivered in Hindi.
“Pakistan is resorting to show India in poor light internationally. This is my appeal to the prime minister. Jaise pradhan mantri ne aur sena ne milkar, zameen ke upar Pakistan ko maja chakhaya hai, aisi hi Pakistan jo jhootha propaganda kar raha hai, usko benaqab karein. Ye jo Pakistan antarrashtriya star par Bharat ko jhootha badnaam kar raha hai, usko bhi benaqab karein. Poora desh aapke saath hai. Hum sab aapke saath hai (They way the PM and the army have taught Pakistan a lesson on the ground, they should also unmask the false propaganda of Pakistan. They should also unmask Pakistan trying to malign India before the international community. The entire country is with you. We are all with you).”
“We fully support PM on surgical strikes. Urge him to similarly counter Pak’s dirty propaganda,” Kejriwal tweeted on Monday. Posting a link to the CNN report, he wrote in another tweet, “Hope Centre wud effectively counter this propaganda.” The tweet also carried a hashtag, “#AKbacksModiOnPak”.
In his concluding line in the video message, the AAP chief also asked the people of India, not to believe the news reports denying the surgical stirkes carried out by India on Pakistan. “I appeal to the people of this country not to believe the false propaganda of Pakistan,” he said.
AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadha said, “It is a very clear message that we firmly stand by the PM for the way he has retaliated and taken revenge for the attacks on our country by Pakistan. What is being shown in the international media is contrary to what we believe and Pakistan as always is engaging in propaganda.”
Hours later, Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra released a letter he wrote to three international publications — New York Times, CNN and BBC — demanding that they issue an apology for running “… news articles trying to tell the world that there was no surgical strike done by India”. Mishra demanded either substantial evidence or the apology.