Breaking his decade-long silence, former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh on Friday sought to embarrass L K Advani by saying that he "covered" up for him when he said that the former Union Home Minister was not aware that he was going to Kandahar with three terrorists during the 1999 hijack episode.
He also said Advani was aware of the decision to release of the terrorists in exchange for freedom of over 160
hostages kept in the Indian Airlines plane that was hijacked.
"Yes, he did," Singh, who was expelled two days ago from the BJP, told NDTV when asked whether Advani knew that Singh was going to Kandahar with three terrorists.
There has been a controversy on the issue with Advani claiming a few years ago that he was not aware of
Jaswant Singh going on a plane with three dreaded terrorists to Kandahar.
Singh was asked why he said during the election campaign that Advani did not know that he was going to Kandahar with the terrorists and whether he covered up for Advani.
"I'm sorry I did," he said when pointedly told that this was a serious thing he was saying that he covered up for
Singh said he did not reveal this during the campaign. "I tried to cover it. I treated it as part of my continuing sense of commitment and loyalty," he said.
Asked whether he regretted covering for him, Singh said "I don't regret because that is the step I had taken.
But it was part of an election campaign. How should I put it? I was being very conservative with truth."