External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday questioned Pakistan’s response to the Balakot airstrike, asking whether its air force had attempted a retaliatory strike in Jammu and Kashmir “on behalf of Jaish”, referring to terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad.
“Our Army did not harm their civilians, they did not attack their armymen, then why did Pakistan attack the following day? On behalf of terrorists? On behalf of Jaish?” she said.
Swaraj was speaking in Ghaziabad during the BJP’s ‘Sankalp Sabha’. She was campaigning for Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (retd) V K Singh, who is the sitting MP from Ghaziabad and the BJP’s candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“Looking at the international support, Pakistan was afraid that we will wage war. They went and made calls at various places…We said we are a responsible nation and a peace-loving nation. We will not heat up the situation. But if Pakistan does it again we will not be quiet because we cannot take Pulwama as our destiny…” she said.
Slamming the previous UPA government over terror attacks, Swaraj said, “In 2008, the biggest terror attack happened (in Mumbai). It was such a time when they could have taken support of the international community and could have isolated Pakistan. But I am sad to say that they lost the opportunity…”
She also credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s success in the diplomatic community. Citing the recent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Swaraj said, “50 years ago, India was humiliated when OIC conducted its meeting without India since Pakistan refused to participate if India did…We took revenge in 2019. Pakistan wrote to UAE, where it was being held, saying India shouldn’t be allowed to participate. OIC told them (Pakistan) if they didn’t come, it would be their choice. Pakistan’s seat was empty and we were there…”