Congress on Wednesday latched on to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks that the Army had carried out “target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations” across LoC in the past too, to “expose” the BJP and Modi government’s “lie” on the recent surgical strikes. The party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala hoped that Jaishanker would not get “axed” like his predecessor Sujatha Singh for “speaking the truth” and “expose BJP’s deception”.
“Modi Govt’s rhetoric, bravado and machismo’s exposed by FS, Jaishankar. Amit Shah’s and Parrikar’s lies lie exposed. (sic).
“Hope FS Jaishankar won’t get axed like Sujatha Singh for speaking the truth qua valour of Armed Forces and exposing BJP’s deception,” Surjewala tweeted.
His tweets came a day after a Parliamentary panel was told that the Army had carried out “target specific, limited-calibre, counter-terrorist operations” across the LoC in the past too, but this is for the first time the government has gone public about it.
The information given by Jaishankar to the Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs appears to contradict Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s claim. Sources said Jaishankar made the remarks when specifically asked by MPs whether surgical strikes have been carried out in the past.
“Professionally done, target-specific, limited-calibre counter-terrorist operations have been carried out across the LoC in the past too, but this is for the first time that the government has made it public,” Jaishankar had been quoted as saying by unnamed sources present in the meeting.
The top diplomat’s comments assume significance in the context of remarks by Parrikar last week rejecting Congress’ claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA government too.
Parrikar had asserted that it was the first time that surgical strikes had taken place in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack and what was undertaken previously were operations locally executed by commanders without involving the government.