Congress on Monday hit out at the Modi government for its “abject failure” in getting terror emanating from Pakistan included in the joint declaration after the BRICS summit in Goa and attacked defence minister Manohar Parrikar for giving credit to the RSS for cross-LoC surgical strikes, calling him a “national embarrassment”.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the Modi government, despite its rhetoric on terror and isolating Pakistan, failed to convince BRICS member countries about including condemnation of the neighbouring country in the Goa declaration.
“Where the government is supposed to speak, where its diplomacy is supposed to do the job, there the government is an abject failure . But the defence minister is very quick to credit everyone, from mythology to the RSS, for the operations along the LOC (surgical strikes).
“This leads to two conclusions--Manohar Parrikar does not deserve to be the defence minister, this man is a national embarrassment.
“The operations along the LOC were unfortunately targeted more for the domestic consumption rather than changing the behaviour of Pakistan,” he said.
Tewari said to the best of everyone’s knowledge no other BRICS country is subjected to cross-border terrorism and while there is a mention to everything from ISIS, Syria and Afghanistan to Israel-Palestinian question, there is no reference to Pakistan in the entire Goa declaration.
“We have an attack in Uri, we lost our soldiers, and the government is not even able to convince its interlocutors that it was a terrorist strike,” he said.
Attacking the government, the Congress leader said, “The difficulty is where the government has to speak, the government is completely and absolutely deafening in its silence and the Goa Declaration of BRICS is perhaps the most sterling example of government’s absolute and abject failure.”
He said, “Despite all the rhetoric and the razor-sharp discourse of terror and of isolating Pakistan, what you have is one sundry remark. One little generic remark in the almost 20 paragraph Goa Declaration.”
Tewari claimed incidents of terrorism had shown a significant decline under the UPA government due to “strategic restraint” adopted by the Congress after carrying out such attacks across the LoC.
He said Congress does want to allude to Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Pampore, Uri and various incidents that have taken place in the last two years and said, “policy of strategic restraint and carrying out ops to change the behaviour of the deep state (a term used to refer to influential anti- democratic coalitions of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary, and mafia) in Pakistan showed results.”
Tewari hit out Parrikar for the remarks giving credit to everyone, from mythology to the RSS, for the surgical strikes.
Parrikar, while talking about the strikes had said, the Prime Minister from land of Mahatma Gandhi and Defence Minister from Goa were a “different kind of combination and maybe RSS teaching was the basic core.”
“What kind of a defence minister do we have? For all the chest thumping of the BJP, the strategic restraint of the UPA, where we conducted operations but kept our lips zipped, actually yielded results,” he said.
Tewari claimed that in Jammu and Kashmir in 2004 alone, 2,565 incidents of terror took place and 281 security personnel, 700 civilians and 976 terrorists were killed. By 2009, incidents were down 1/5th to 599, with security personnel deaths down to 78, civilians 71 and terrorists 239 because infiltration was stopped.
In 2014, he said, the incidents were down to 222, with 47 deaths of security personnel, 28 of civilians, while 110 terrorists were killed.
“Therefore, policy of strategic restraint and carrying out ops to change the behaviour of the deep state in Pakistan showed results,” he said.
“Why is the defence minister of India always so over the top. Today, he has credited the RSS for operations along LoC. Earlier he had said, like Hanuman, the army did not know their prowess until I pointed out to them their strength and capacity. He even said such an action has never been done before...and 30 years of helplessness has been lifted with this action and people erupted with joy.
“Then they blame others for politicising the operations along the LoC. We would like to ask BJP and defence minister, did Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri go to an RSS Shakha? Did defence minister Yashwantrao Chavan go to an RSS Shakha? Did Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who created Bangladesh, go to a Shakha? Did defence minister Jagjivan Ram go to a Shakha? Did Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw go to a Shakha? Did Gen JS Arora go to a Shakha?,” he asked.