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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Row over army pay-offs: Jaitley cautions govt, Gen VK Singh

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 24, 2013
First Published: 20:31 IST(24/9/2013) | Last Updated: 20:38 IST(24/9/2013)

Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely on Tuesday cautioned the UPA government as well as former army chief Gen VK Singh against sensational leaks and disclosures about the alleged pay-offs by the army in Jammu and Kashmir, saying these could severely hit India's security interests.

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In an article, Jaitely said "should such an information have been leaked out by a political establishment which had a problem with the former army chief. Pushed to a corner, should the army chief at all have admitted that such payments were indeed undertaken? The UPA government has abandoned its state-craft. It does not mind if the country is hurt as long as the UPA can score points when faced with a certain electoral defeat."

Jaitley said all these activities were neither accountable to Parliament nor judicially justiceable. Larger public interest demanded secrecy. "My charge against the UPA government is that for narrow political interest it has deliberately leaked out the covert operations in two cases thereby creating a serious set back to our counter insurgency operations."

The BJP leader said the desirability and the appropriateness of these activities is a subject matter for the government of the day to decide.  "Prime Ministers, Home Ministers, Defence Ministers, Chief of the Army staff, heads of IB and R&AW and several others in the government are  privy to information which  must necessarily die with them.  It even cannot become a part of their memoirs."

Stating that he was unaware of the truth or otherwise of the allegation, Jaitely said "the government leak  published in a newspaper indicated that a certain politician of Jammu and Kashmir  had received  funds for allegedly toppling the state government.  The former army chief has stated that the army does make payments to stabilize the system  in states  affected by insurgency.  It stabilizes them by either helping  the community  through community friendly activities or otherwise."

The senior BJP leader said, "None of us knows or is entitled to know the details of these activities.  The right to information cannot apply to these activities.  The CBI cannot invoke  its investigative jurisdiction  to start investigating whether  secret funds have been properly spent by the Intelligence Bureau, the R&AW or the Military Intelligence or by any other agency."


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