Opposition tried to use Pulwama attack for own gain: PM Modi
On Saturday, PM Modi said he remained silent despite all the “accusations” against him after the Pulwama terror attack.Updated: Nov 01, 2020, 03:56 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday referred to a Pakistan minister’s statement admitting the country’s role in the 2019 Pulwama attack in Kashmir to hit out at opposition parties, and said that even while India was mourning the sacrifice of its soldiers, there were others who indulged in “dirty politics” for “political gains”.
“The country cannot forget the unwarranted statements made after the Pulwama attack. Dirty politics laced with selfishness and arrogance was at its peak when the country was suffering from immense pain,” the Prime Minister said on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas during an address in Gujarat’s Kevadia.
“But the real face of such people has been exposed after the truth was accepted in the parliament of our neighbouring country,” Modi said after paying tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Statue of Unity on the leader’s 145th birth anniversary.
The PM was referring to remarks by Pakistan’s science and technology minister Fawad Chaudhry, who triggered a controversy on Thursday after bragging in Parliament about “beating India on its own soil”. “Hum ne Hindustan ko ghuss ke maara hai (We have entered and attacked India),” Chaudhry said, adding: “And our success in Pulwama, that was the success of this nation under Imran Khan’s leadership.”
This was the first time a Pakistan minister has admitted what India has long maintained — that the country directly and indirectly encourages and supports terror groups targeting India. Chaudhry later backtracked on his remark and said he was only referring to “post-Pulwama issues” when the “Pakistan Air Force taught a lesson to the Indian side after the air strike on February 26”.
Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a bus, part of a convoy of security forces, in Pulwama on February 14, 2019.
In reprisal for the attack, Indian Air Force planes bombed a JeM training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot 12 days later. On February 27, 2019, Pakistan said its combat jets targeted areas near Indian military installations across the Line of Control (LoC), and this sparked an aerial engagement between the air forces of the two countries.
On Saturday, PM Modi said he remained silent despite all the “accusations” against him after the Pulwama terror attack.
“Politics done after the Pulwama attack shows that people can cross any limit for their political gains. I want to urge such political parties not to indulge in this kind of politics as it affects the morale of our security forces,” he said, without naming any party. “For your political gains, you should not play into the hands of anti-national forces, knowingly or unknowingly,” the PM added.
Opposition parties have in the past criticised the government over alleged security lapses that allowed the terror outfit to target the CRPF convoy in Kashmir. Earlier in February, on the first anniversary of the attack, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi raised questions over the terror strike, asking who was accountable for the “security lapses”and “who benefitted the most” from the attack.
On calls by the BJP to apologise, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted on Saturday said he is “trying to figure out” why the party is being asked to apologise. “For expecting the government to keep our soldiers safe? For rallying around the flag rather than politicising a national tragedy? For expressing condolences to the families of our martyrs?” he wrote.
The Prime Minister on Saturday also spoke about the need for nations to unite against terrorism and said India understands the pain of terror victims. In the backdrop of the recent terror attack in the French town of Nice — where an extremist decapitated a woman and killed two others on Thursday — Modi said it was a matter of concern that some people had come out in support of terror.
Recently, the Emmanuel Macron-led French government has been criticised by some world leaders, including Pakistan’s Imran Khan and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for what they said was an anti-Muslim stance. New Delhi has maintained that it “deplores” such criticism of the French President.
“In the present situation, all the nations, all the governments and people of all the faiths must get united against terrorism. Peace, brotherhood and respect for each other is the identity of humanity. Terrorism and violence is not good for anyone,” Modi said.
The PM also brought up the months-long border standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and said Indian soldiers are giving a “befitting reply” to those “eyeing” our land. “India is building hundreds of kilometres of roads, bridges and tunnels near our borders. The country is committed and well-prepared to protect its honour and sovereignty,” Modi said.
On the issue of the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by the central government last year, Modi said he was “fortunate” to get the opportunity to complete the “unfinished task” of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. “Now, Kashmir has embarked on its journey of development,” the PM said, referring to the government’s August 5, 2019 move nullifying Article 370 — which gave the erstwhile state its special status — as J&K’s “unification” with India.
The Prime Minister spoke of the slowing spread of the pandemic in the country and said Indian citizens had come together to fight the virus and “as a result, India is coming out of the outbreak and marching ahead”.
(With inputs from PTI)