Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said not a single Pakistani “citizen” was hurt in the airstrike that followed the Pulwama attack, prompting the Pakistan Army to take a dig at India.
Shortly after Swaraja’s statement in Ahmedabad, Pakistan Army’s spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted, “Finally the truth under ground reality compulsions. Hopefully, so will be about other false Indian claims ie surgical strike 2016, denial of shooting down of 2 IAF jets by PAF and claim about F16. Better late than never.” Later, sources said she meant “civilians” and not “citizens”.
She said that in 2008, the biggest terror strike in India took place — the Mumbai attack in which 166 people were killed, 126 Indians and 40 people from 14 countries. “That was an opportunity for the government then because it qualified as international terrorism. They could have taken the assistance of those 14 countries to isolate Pakistan from the entire international community. But the government lost that opportunity,” she said.
“Today when Modi is the PM, when Uri was attacked, there was a surgical strike, when Pulwama was attacked, we attacked Pakistan via air strikes thus teaching them a lesson as well as isolating them in the international community. How? Everywhere when we told that our air strike was in self-defence, we told them that the air strike was done responsibly,” she said.
“We told them that we gave our army a free hand but along with two directions — Pakistan ka koi nagrik nahi marna chahiye, Pakistani sena ko kharoch nahi aani chahiye. Aapka target woh aatanki hai, woh Jaish-e-Mohammed jisne zimmadari li hai that we planned the Pulwama attack. Jis JeM ne 40 logon ko maarne ki zimmedaari li hai, seedhe jao aur unke aatanki ko maarke aao aur unhi aatanki ko maarkar ke aaye. (Not one Pakistani citizen should be killed, and not a scratch on the Pakistani army .Your target is terrorists, that Jaish-e-Mohammed who has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. The JeM that has claimed the killings of 40 persons, go directly and attack them)”.
She added,”…Aur inhi atanki thikano ko radd karke aaye. Aur sena ne itni zimmedaari se kaam kiya ki ek bhi Pakistani nagrik ko chhalni nahi hua, ek bhi unka sainik aahat nahi hua. Jab yeh narrative humne internationally diya, ek ek vyakti ne kaha ki hum aapke saath hai aur Pakistan ke khilaf hai (And those very terror camps were destroyed. Our defence forces acted with such responsibility that not a single Pakistani citizen or armyman was hurt, not one casualty. When we gave this narrative in the international community, each person said we are with you and against Pakistan)”.
She said even the Islamic countries have isolated Pakistan, and referred to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) convention. “The convention happened after the Pulwama air strike…Pakistan wrote to UAE foreign minister that if India attends then we will not and sought cancellation of the invitation to India…UAE foreign minister said that if Pakistan wishes to come it may, if it doesn’t it may not, but the invitation to India will not be withdrawn.”