A debate raged on Wednesday over whether the government should release evidence of the army’s surgical strikes across the LoC with BJP leader Subramanian Swamy favouring putting out an edited version of the video on the action while most experts spoke against it.
Rejecting the demand, the BJP attacked some Congress leaders and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal for raising questions over the strikes and accused them of giving a handle to Pakistan to advance its false propaganda.
The Congress, on its part, insisted that it never questioned the authenticity of the strikes but steered clear of the demand, including from within its own ranks, for the release of evidence, saying it would give appropriate advice in the best interest of national security if consulted by the government.
Swamy, a Rajya Sabha member, said anybody questioning the operation should prove prima facie evidence to support his allegation but added that a video should be released following a newspaper report today that gave details of the operation.
“I think they should edit the video of the logistics value of it and show the other part, showing explosions, the dead body… they have got in the video. So all these parts can be released,” he said.
He, however, added that the bluff of those questioning the army’s claim should be called by not responding to them.
A large number of countries, including Russia, have congratulated India on these strikes, he said.
Former army chief Gen VP Malik slammed those questioning the credibility of the strikes saying, “The video should not be released just because some stupid people have sought so.”
He told PTI it was “utter nonsense” that people are asking the army to prove the operation and wondered what is wrong with the political class.
“Only the army should take a call on whether to release the video or not and when,” he said.
Another former army chief Gen JJ Singh also joined Mall in criticising such voices and said when armed forces make a claim there should be no doubt.
“Very proud of our para commandos and the mission they have done. Anybody who thin they have to prove their worth let me tell them that they are living in a fool’s paradise. We should never believe what Pakistan media is trotting out,” he said.
Yet another former army chief Gen Shankar Roy Choudhary also spoke out against the release of the video saying the country’s secrets should not be put in the open.
He added that Pakistan was looking for an opportunity to gain from any such release.
Echoing his views, a former IG of BSF said the release of such video could hamper India’s future strategy.
BJP Spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, “At a time when the whole world has stopped believing Pakistan we have the spectacle of Congress, Kejriwal and other parties questioning strike carried out by our armed forces and giving a handle to Pakistan to advance its false propaganda.”
Reacting to the newspaper report, he said the credibility of Indian armed forces is so high that the whole world has rallied behind India and supported surgical strikes. “We do not need to rely on any media report to justify the statement of the armed forces.”
Steering clear of the issue, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “Let government consult all political parties and we would give appropriate advice in the best
interest of national security.”
Congress had on Tuesday disassociated itself from the controversial remarks of its leader Sanjay Nirupam, who had alluded that the Army’s assertion of a surgical strike could be fake.
Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir on Wednesday said footage of the strike has been submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office by the Army.
Asked if the government planned to share the video, he said: “No such decision has been taken yet, a call can only be taken by the Prime Minister.”
“A nation has its own policies and one needs to practise restraint. People like Sanjay Nirupam and Arvind Kejriwal listen to Pakistan. The DGMO did the briefing and everyone in India believes it,” the Minister said.