'Brajesh behind Kandahar fiasco'
Jethmalani said his counsel against the release of terrorists fell on deaf ears.india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 17:45 IST
In a new twist to the Kandahar controversy, the then Law Minister Ram Jethmalani has blamed the then National Security Advisor (NSA) Brajesh Mishra for the hijack of the Indian Airlines flight.
Jethmalani claimed his counsel against the release of the terrorists fell on deaf ears.
Virtually dismissing suggestions that the then Home Minister LK Advani had reservations about the release of terrorists in lieu of hostages, he said, "If he had opposed it in his capacity as Home Minister, why it was not brought before the Cabinet? Such sensitive issues should have been discussed in the Cabinet."
In a no-holds barred interview to a Hindi magazine, Jethmalani said he suspected the hand of Mishra behind his removal from the government.
"What happened after the December, 1999 Kandahar hijacking? I had asked Vajpayee to remove Mishra forthwith. You have made such a person as NSA who allowed the plane to leave the country from Amritsar. This man did not do anything to stop the plane, which could have been done by a school student. It was certainly surprising. The plane could have been stopped by placing a bench before it or by puncturing its tyres."
Asked if there was a conspiracy behind the "inaction", he said, "it was incompetence crossing all limits and an incompetent advisor was actually running the entire country. At that time I was in Madurai in connection with an official function and I called Vajpayee on mobile phone and told him to take out all the terrorists, put the pistol on their temple and tell the hijackers that they would be shot if even a single passenger is killed."