BJP calls A.K. Antony's statement 'ironical'

| Updated: May 03, 2017 09:30 IST

New Delhi [India] May 3 (ANI): Slamming former defence minister A.K. Antony's statement where he called the Centre to give a free hand to the Indian Army in giving an 'appropriate reply' to Pakistan's barbaric act in Jammu and Kashmir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said the remark is ironical as neither the former nor former prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had a free hand to run the UPA government during the tenure. "The hallmark of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is that the armed forces have been given a free hand to deal with the situation and to rebuff every attempt by Pakistan and to give reactive firing against every ceasefire violation. It sounds very ironical when the Congress talks about giving a free hand to anyone because neither Antony nor Dr. Manmohan Singh had a free hand to run the UPA government for 10 years," BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao told ANI. He further said that Dr. Manmohan Singh was acting as a rubber stamp in that government and it was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who was remote controlling. Echoing similar sentiments, another BJP leader Nalin Kohli said that the saffron party will continue to do what is correct, adding if the Congress Party wants to contribute then it should have a concrete suggestion. "It's a very sad and uncalled for statement coming from Antony who is a senior Congress leader. We care for every soldier and we are proud of every soldier. We salute their bravery and our hearts are with their families when they give their supreme sacrifice," he added. Calling on the Centre to give a free hand to the Indian Army in giving an 'appropriate reply' to Pakistan's barbaric act in Jammu and Kashmir's Krishna Ghati sector, Antony yesterday reminded that such an incident had happened only once under the Congress regime. While clarifying that he does not want to politicise the incident, Antony said, "During our time, only one such incident happened. The incident of mutilation happened only once in eight years. But here it has happened thrice. It has affected the morale of the Indian Army. It puts a question on the security structure. Give freedom to the army to take appropriate action at appropriate time." The former defence minister further reiterated that the government must give a free hand to the Army to handle it in their own way. "My message is clear: Give freedom to the Army to take appropriate action as a reaction to this cruel, inhuman, barbaric action by Pakistan," Antony told the media. Indian Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt yesterday raised the issue of Border Action Team (BAT) camps near the Line of control with his Pakistani counterpart. Bhatt also raised the issue of fire support provided by the Pakistani posts. "DGMO Indian Army conveyed that such dastardly and inhuman act is beyond any norms of civility and merits unequivocal condemnation and response," the Indian Army said in a statement. Meanwhile, the Border Security Force (BSF) has highlighted that the brutal Krishna Ghati incident occurred post the visit of the Pakistan Army Chief to the Line of Control (LoC), adding that Islamabad's BAT, involved in the attack, comprised Mujahedeen terrorists as well. "I would not like to comment formally on this. But yes, everybody knows that this has taken place immediately after the visit of the Pakistan Army Chief to the frontal area," said BSF Additional Director General (ADG) Western Command K.N. Choubey. The Pakistani soldiers along with their Border Action Team (BAT), which include trained border inhabitants had launched a joint attack. They first fired rockets and followed this up with firing from automatic weapons, near Kranti Post located in Poonch's Krishna Ghati Sector around 8.30 a.m. The Pakistanis then crossed the LoC, entered 200 meters into Indian Territory, and attacked a joint patrol of the Army and Border Security Force (BSF), heading towards a nearby post. It is the same Krishna Ghati sector where the Pakistani BAT had beheaded Lance Naik Hemraj and badly severed the head of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh of 13 Rajputana Rifles on January 8, 2013. (ANI)

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