Top officials including Foreign Secretary and DGMO are scheduled to brief a panel of MPs, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, on the surgical strikes conducted by the army across the LoC, on October 18. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor is scheduled to meet on Tuesday when it will be briefed on Indo-Pak relations with specific reference to recent surgical strikes.
“Briefing by the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Defence Secretary and Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) on the subject ‘Indo-Pak relations with specific reference to surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC)’,” a notice regarding the October 18 meeting issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat said.
The meeting assumes significance as the government had earlier expressed reservations over briefing on the same topic to the Parliamentary Committee on Defence. However, after initial reluctance, the parliamentary panel on Defence headed by BJP MP BC Khanduri was briefed by Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Bipin Rawat on the surgical strikes.
The Uri Army base was attacked by heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists on September 18, in which 19 soldiers were killed. In a well-calibrated retaliatory action, the Indian army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29. A political slugfest has broken out between the ruling and opposition parties ever since.
Rahul Gandhi had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in political exploitation of the sacrifices made by soldiers. His “khoon ki dalali” remark had drawn strong criticism from the government, BJP and some other parties.