Govt should produce evidence of Balakot air strike: Digvijaya Singh

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Updated: Mar 03, 2019 8:01 AM

"I also congratulate the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan that he showed a new way of being a good neighbour and returned the brave officer of Indian Air Force to us," the Congress leader said.

Singh has said the Pakistan PM handed over Wing Commander Varthaman even though there was pressure on him from Pakistan’s ISI and his own political party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf, to bargain hard with India before releasing the IAF pilot. (File/PTI)

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday urged the Centre to present evidence of the air strike on terrorist camps in Balakot,  just the way the United States had done after killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s Abbottabad in 2011.

 
Singh also “congratulated” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for the unconditional release of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
 
Speaking to reporters in Indore, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “I am not questioning the recent IAF action against Pakistan-based terrorist camps.
 
“But the pictures of any incident in open space can be accessed through satellite technology. So we should also give evidence, the way the United States government presented evidence before the world on (the killing of) Osama bin Laden,” news agency PTI quoted Singh as saying.
 
“I also congratulate the honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan that he showed a new way of being a good neighbour and returned the brave officer of Indian Air Force to us,” the Congress leader said.
 
“Now he should show courage by handing over (terrorists) Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar to us,” he added.
 
According to The Indian Express, reacting on Singh’s remarks, the BJP said it will hold protests across the state on Sunday and burn effigies of the Congress and its leaders.
 
The leader of Opposition in MP Assembly Gopal Bhargava said, “Congress leaders are insulting the armed forces by seeking proof about the airstrikes. Pakistan has not done any favour to India by returning Abhinandan because it (Islamabad) was bound to do so under Geneva Convention,” The Indian Express reported.
 
Singh has said the Pakistan PM handed over Wing Commander Varthaman even though there was pressure on him from Pakistan’s ISI and his own political party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf, to bargain hard with India before releasing the IAF pilot.
 
The former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh also refuted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim on Friday that after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) wanted to conduct a surgical strike against Pakistan, but the Congress-led UPA government nixed the idea.
 
“I can only say that we have not seen a bigger liar than Narendra Modi,” Singh said when asked about Modi’s statement in Kanyakumari.
 
Indian Air Force bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. Following this, Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday. However, the IAF thwarted their plans.
 
The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.
 
 

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