Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley

Jaitley urges Oppn to revisit stand on Feb 26 IAF strike

Agency News

New Delhi, Mar 3: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday urged Opposition parties to revisit their stand vis-a-vis the authenticity of February 26 aerial strike carried out by the Indian Air Force.

"The Opposition is entitled to oppose and ask questions, but restrain and statesmanship are also an essential ingredient of public discourse. I hope, India’s Opposition revisits its position and does not let down the nation," he wrote in a blog ‘India’s Opposition Has A Lot To Learn’ on Facebook.

Jaitley, who also held the Defence portfolio for a brief period, slammed Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for her recent statements. He said she had even started doubting the veracity of the incident and wanted to know the operational details. The credibility of both the government and the Air Force was being doubted.

He said the Balakot attack was intended to defend India’s sovereignty. It was a perfectly executed pinpointed operation where no civilian or military installations were targeted -- only terrorists were.

On the veracity of the Balakot attack, the Minister said, “The retaliatory attack by Pakistan’s F-16 was the most botched up operation. In short, both the attack and our defence pointed to the valour and professionalism of our Air Force. Pakistan was globally isolated. Even the OIC refused to pay heed to it.

“It violated every tenet of the Geneva Convention in relation to our brave Wing Commander Abhinandan. Not only was Pakistan globally isolated, the issue of its terrorism has reached the Security Council. So helpless was the situation that it was in no position to even admit the attack at Balakot. If it had admitted the attack and its consequences, the evidence of a terrorist camp in existence and the list of dead terrorists would have been international issue.”

He said, the Congress and other Opposition parties refused to learn. After initial support, the parties have tried to create a divide in India’s political opinion.

Recently, at a meeting of the 21 Opposition parties, a resolution was passed, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of politicising the Pulwama and Balakot incidents. And the Pakistani media used this statement as a trump card.

“It took the statement as an endorsement of the Pakistani position that India had taken the Balakot action because of the compulsion of its domestic politics and not as a part of it’s policy to defend the country against terrorism,” he maintained.

Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while receiving an award had said he was disturbed with the “Mad rush of mutual self-destruction” by the two nations. His statement showed that Singh has elevated himself to the status of a neutral third party rather than be concerned about India’s interest; or developed a theory of parity and equivalence between both India and Pakistan. He treated equally both the perpetrator and the victim of terrorism.

Or Dr Singh doubts India’s right to defend its sovereignty from those who want to damage it through terrorism, he further wrote.

Mr Jaitley said the Opposition’s statements have hurt India’s national interest. “Not only do they give smiles to Pakistan, they become an important instrument in Pakistan’s hands to discredit India.” (UNI)