After Delhi CM, Congress demands evidence of Indian 'surgical strike'

Published: October 4, 2016
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In this photograph taken on January 28, 2010, an Indian Army Chetak helicopter, a licence-built version of the French Alouette III and successor of the smaller Cheetah utility helicopter, makes a fly-past during a National Cadet Corps (NCC) parade in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

In this photograph taken on January 28, 2010, an Indian Army Chetak helicopter, a licence-built version of the French Alouette III and successor of the smaller Cheetah utility helicopter, makes a fly-past during a National Cadet Corps (NCC) parade in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

Just a day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the authenticity of India’s  ‘surgical strike’ claims,  another Indian politician has demanded credible evidence of the incident from the Indian government.

“The government must expose Pakistan’s denial. It has all the tools and instruments to do so,” The Indian Express quoted senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma as saying on Monday. Sharma, however, said Congress did not have a slightest doubt about what the Indian DGMO said after the ‘operation’ in response to a question regarding AAP’s demand of video evidence to corroborate the claim.

Meanwhile, another Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Tuesday termed the claim  fake and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Indian government was trying to derive political mileage from it. “Every Indian wants #SurgicalStrikesAgainstPak but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by #BJP. Politics over national interest,” Nirupam said in a Twitter message.

Delhi CM ‘questions’ authenticity of India’s ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan

While hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party, Nirupam tweeted: “Every Indian wants #SurgicalStrikesAgainstPak but not a fake one to extract just political benefit by #BJP. Politics over national interest.”

Sharma, a senior minister in the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government, disapproved of attempts to ban Pakistani artistes and cricketers in India. He said it was “not correct” to brand every citizen of Pakistan, including artists and sportsmen, a “terrorist”.

The party’s demand for credible evidence of ‘surgical strikes’ coincides with international suspicions being raised on India’s claim which is remains shrouded in mystery. Leading US newspaper, The Washington Post, in an article on Sunday published interviews of locals living along the Line of Control. The majority of villagers in the three areas along the LoC said that they did not witness any cross-border movement of troops or hear the sound of any helicopters.

Another well-reputed publication, The Diplomat, in a piece titled Is India Capable of a Surgical Strike in Pakistan Controlled Kashmir? raised some serious questions about the capabilities of the Indian military.

According to a BBC Urdu article, when locals residing merely two kilometres away from Indian check-posts were inquired about the strikes they said: “What surgical strikes? That day there was just more than usual firing.” Moreover, the Indian army’s muddled up and porous information also raised more doubts regarding the authenticity of such ‘strikes’.

Uri aftermath: Global media doubts surgical strike claims

India’s state minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has already accepted that “no aerial operations were included in the operation”. Rathore’s remarks endorsed the version of the army’s media wing, ISPR, which insisted: “there has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India.”

Interestingly, Pakistan Army after firmly denying the claims of strikes also took independent journalists to the LoC at Baghsir, 20 kilometres from Bhimber to show the situation on ground. DG ISPR General Asim Saleem Bajwa stressed that while Pakistan has brought journalists to the LoC and is showing them the situation on ground, India is not allowing the same access to its own people which is suspicious.

Tensions between the two arch rivals have been boiling since the Indian government accused Pakistan-based militants of launching an assault on an army base in Uri sector of occupied Kashmir last month that killed 18 Indian army soldiers.

BJP slams Delhi CM; Kejriwal hits back

The BJP-led Indian government on Tuesday slammed the Delhi CM for ‘doubting’ its claim of “surgical strike”.

“I want to ask Arvind Kejriwal whether he believes in the extraordinary valour of our army or not in conducting surgical strikes,” Indian minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press briefing. “Under the garb of seeking proof, don’t belittle great leadership, courage and sacrifice of our armed forces,” Prasad advised the AAP leader.

Kejriwal hit back at Modi administration for criticising his earlier plea for proof of the ‘surgical strike’ claimed by India. “We all know and accept that surgical strikes have been conducted but… the world media is saying that [they] were not conducted,” the Delhi CM told journalists, adding that he only asked the government to give a befitting response to “Pakistan’s propaganda but why is BJP so baffled and scared”.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Asad
    Oct 4, 2016 - 5:24PM

    There are no proofs because it was on a firing incident which India considers a surgical strike. Recommend

  • Surgical Dream
    Oct 4, 2016 - 5:31PM

    In other news Pakistan army invited Indian army to participate in the ongoing military exercise with Russian military to “learn” and “understand” what is Surgical Joke I mean strike and how to plans and execute a surgical strike ! Recommend

  • Darvesh
    Oct 4, 2016 - 6:31PM

    This is a only film in history which is hit without being shot. This happens only in India. Recommend

  • Darvesh
    Oct 4, 2016 - 6:31PM

    This is a only film in history which is hit without being shot. This happens only in India. Recommend

  • SG
    Oct 4, 2016 - 7:22PM

    I could not understand why every Pakistanis are so eager to get the proof from Indian Govt.Why can’t they verify from amother souurces on the strike details.Would it glorify them as a nation when India Govt furnishes the prooF or it will be further shame on them as their own govt and army could not speak out the truth.

    Anyway bare with Indian Govt for few more says, proof will come out.Recommend

  • jb
    Oct 4, 2016 - 9:03PM

    Pakistan has plenty of friends in India who raise the issues important to it.Recommend

  • Zec
    Oct 5, 2016 - 2:57AM

    @SG:

    Other sources? Such as the UN who said it didn’t happen. I’m not sure what your point is and why you upset about asking proof on claims. It seems you were there now to witness, lol.Recommend

  • nadir baloach
    Oct 5, 2016 - 8:38AM

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” ― Abraham Lincoln to Modi JeeRecommend

  • JA
    Oct 5, 2016 - 8:53AM

    Does the Indian DGMO know the definition of surgical strike? I doubt…Recommend

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