Prime Minister Narendra Modi has questioned the claims made by his predecessor Manmohan Singh over the surgical strikes in the UPA regime. In an interview to The Hindustan Times, PM Modi said that he had no idea about any such military action conducted by the previous government as there were no proof supporting the claims. “What kind of surgical strike was it? Who issued the orders? Where are the orders? These are the questions they (UPA) should be asked to answer,” PM Modi was quoted as saying.
“Multiple surgical strikes took place during our tenure, too. For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces than to be used for vote garnering exercises. In the past 70 years, a government in power never had to hide behind the valour of our armed forces. Such attempts to politicize our forces are shameful and unacceptable,” Manmohan Singh said in an interview to HT recently. Singh slammed the Narendra Modi government of turning a blind eye to the video warning of Jaish-e-Mohammed and solid intelligence inputs from Jammu and Kashmir police about an IED attack.
The Balakot air strikes have been one of the key issues during the ongoing polls with the ruling BJP making it nationalism as the key point of its poll campaign.
In a related development, Francesca Marino, a foreign journalist, has confirmed that up to 170 terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group were killed in the Indian Air Force air strikes on February 26. Marino earlier in an article wrote that eyewitnesses present at the site of India's February 26 bomb strikes against a JeM base saw up to 35 bodies were being transported out of the the site by ambulance hours after the attack. The dead, they recounted, included 12 men who were said to have been sleeping in a single temporary shack, and several individuals who had earlier served in Pakistan's military.