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Arun Jaitley Slams Opposition For Questioning IAF Air Strike, Asks Do You Want Air Force to Release Operation Details of the Balakot Attack

Intensifying attack on the grand old party, the Union Minister further stated,"After an initial show of support for the IAF, it tried to create a divide in India's political opinion".

Updated: March 3, 2019 8:16 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Surabhi Shaurya

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Opposition parties for raising doubts over the IAF (Indian Air Force) air strike that decimated biggest terror hideouts of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Balakot. In a blog post titled ‘India’s Opposition has a lot to learn‘, Jaitley accused the Congress-led UPA of running a ‘terrible’ government and even a ‘more terrible’ opposition.

“Statements made by opposition parties (after IAF’s counter terror operation in Balakot) hurt India’s national interest. They give smiles to Pakistan and become an instrument in Pakistan’s hands to discredit India’s operation against terrorism,” Jaitley said in his recent blog.

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He stressed that on such occasions the nation ought to speak in one voice,  politicians and leaders rise to the level of statesmanship as was done by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jan Sangh during the 1971 war.

Intensifying attack on the grand old party, the Union Minister further stated,”After an initial show of support for the IAF, it tried to create a divide in India’s political opinion”. “At a meeting of 21 opposition parties, a resolution was passed accusing the Prime Minister of politicising the Pulwama and Balakot incidents. The government had twice taken the opposition leaders into confidence. No evidence of politicisation was given,” Jaitley wrote.

Attacking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Jaitley pointed that she went a step further by doubting the veracity of the incident. “The West Bengal Chief Minister went a step further. She started doubting the veracity of the incident and wanted to know the operational details. The credibility of both the Government and our Air Force is being doubted,” FM said.

He also lambasted former Prime Minister Manmohan and said that he sought to elevate himself to the status of a neutral third party while raising doubts about India’s right to defend its sovereignty from those who want to damage it through terrorism. “I was most disappointed with a brief but a highly objectionable statement of the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh,” Jaitley said.

“While receiving the P.V. Narasimha Rao Award for the lifetime achievement, he stated that he was disturbed with the “Mad rush of mutual self-destruction” by the two nations. He further went on to argue that poverty, ignorance and disease were the real problems in the two countries and that saner counsel on both sides needed to think on the issue. What does this statement indicate?,” the Finance Minister asked.

At last the Finance Minister emphasised that the Opposition is entitled to oppose and ask questions, but then 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 concluded.

Earlier on Saturday, Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had demanded the Centre to provide an evidence of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) terror camps in Balakot. He also lauded Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for ensuring safe return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and called him ‘a good neighbour’.

“I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps. But pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way the United States government presented evidence of Osama bin Laden’s killing before the world,” Singh said while speaking to reporters in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.

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