Backing his controversial statement that he needed the Indian Air Force to prove that they killed 300 terrorists, Sam Pitroda, the Chairman of the Overseas Indian National Congress and Congress president Rahul Gandhi's close confidante, on Saturday, has said that he was entitled to ask a question and felt it was an act of courage that he did so, in an interview with ANI.
Detailing the post-math of his Balakot proof debacle, he has revealed that even Congress Leaders were questioning as to why he doubted the forces.
On February 26, the Indian Air Force launched a counter-terror operation in a pre-emptive airstrike by targetting Jaish-e-Mohammed bases in Balakot, Muzaffarbad and Chakothi, in which many terrorists were killed. Almost a month later on March 22, Pitroda had said that international news outlets had an alternate view of the impact of the air strike and that the people of India deserved to know the facts of the Air Force operation.
“I would like to know a little more because I read reports in the New York Times and other newspapers. Did we really attack? We really killed 300 people? I don’t know that. As a citizen, I am entitled to know and if I ask it is my duty to ask, that doesn’t mean I’m not a nationalist, That doesn’t mean I am on this side or that side. We need to know the facts. If you say 300 people were killed, I need to know that. We all need to know that, people of India need to know that and then comes global media which says nobody was killed. I look bad as an Indian citizen,” said Pitroda in a interview.
When asked if he questioned the Indian Air Force’s version of the Balakot air strikes, Pitroda clarified that an attack is different from making a claim of 300 dead.
“We cannot be emotional. Data has to be neutral. So you come in today and say ‘I killed 300 people’ and I say wait a minute, the World is saying we didn’t kill anybody or kill less or kill more.. I don’t know,” added Pitroda.