Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Credit for surgical strikes goes to Army, not any political party: Parrikar

Mumbai, Oct 12 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said a major share of the credit for the surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The major share goes to the Prime Minister," Parrikar said while addressing a gathering at the Materials Engineering Technology conference.

"But... I will at least claim (that) the credit is decision-making ability and planning. So that should settle the nerves of many people," he said in an apparent dig at those accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of seeking to reap political benefit from the cross-LoC strikes.

Parrikar pointed out that the September 29 operation was carried out by the Indian Army and not a political party. The Defence Minister said he does not mind sharing credit for the army's work, including the surgical strikes to destroy the terror "launch pads", with every citizen of the country.

"Because it was done by the army, not any political party. So all Indians, including doubting Thomases, can share the credit," Parrikar said, referring to people who have questioned the strikes and demanded proof that they were conducted. 

'No surgical strikes in the past'
The Union Defence Minister also pooh-poohed the Congress claim that surgical strikes across the Line of Control had been conducted during the UPA rule.

“To my knowledge there were no surgical strikes carried out in the past. Those actions can be called ‘covert operations’ where the action was taken first and the government was informed later. But the September 29 strikes were a result of a government’s decision,” Manohar Parrikar said.

A war of words erupted over the politicisation of the strike with the opposition accusing the government of seeking to capitalise on the Indian Army's action for electoral gains.

The surgical strike came in the wake of the terror attack at an army camp in Uri town of Kashmir on September 18, in which 19 soldiers were killed. Parrikar also said the strike has satisfied sentiments of the people across the country.

"I understand (that) people's sentiments are satisfied and population is satisfied," he said.

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