In the midst of the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan after the IAF's strike against Pakistan-backed terror across the LoC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while hitting out at India's Opposition over its various statements on the matter, has issued specific criticism for what was said on the topic by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Taking to Twitter, as also in his detailed blog post, Jaitley has argued:
"The most disappointing & objectionable statement was of the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He stated that he was disturbed with the “Mad rush of mutual self-destruction” by the two nations. According to him perpetrator of terrorism & its victim are both at par."
"In his speech Dr Singh implicitly doubted India’s right to defend its sovereignty from those who want to damage it through terrorism. He mentioned poverty, ignorance and disease in his speech. But violence and terrorism are of no consequence in his assessment."
Here's what the former Prime Minister had said:
Jaitley's criticism comprises a big compilation of statements by the opposition that has moved to increasingly question the potency of the strike by the Indian Air Force on the Balakot terror factory in Pakistan.
On Sunday, another union minister, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had also issued a video appeal referencing similar lines, calling for India to unite and back the forces:
The Congress had continued to seek 'proof' that terrorists had been killed in the strike all through the weekend, as can be seen in the following statements by Digvijaya Singh and Kapil Sibal:
Speaking in Patna on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused the Opposition of demoralising the security forces and assisting Pakistan in pedalling its agenda:
Terming Pakistan as a terror factory ('Aatank ki factory'), the Prime Minister said:
"At a time when the security forces are attacking terrorists in the country and across the border, a few people from the country, rather than motivating our Jawans, are making statements which are making our enemies smile."
"Pakistani TV channels are showing their faces and these people are being applauded there. During the time when it was necessary to talk in one voice, 21 parties joined hands in Delhi to issue a statement against the NDA government. Any person having a positive approach from Bihar and the entire nation will never forgive them for this act. At this time, should we say something that will make Pakistan happy".
Pakistan has indeed been using the Opposition's statements for its gain, with Pak foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi saying the following on Pak media following the 21 Opposition parties' statement accusing the BJP of politicising the anti-terror strike:
"Today, the 21 Opposition parties in India have also told the BJP not to play politics on this matter. The Opposition parties of India have said that BJP is using the Pulwama attack for elections, they are politicising the matter," Qureshi said.