Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (File Image)
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (File Image)

Opposition's comments 'give smiles to Pakistan', says Jaitley

ANI | Updated: Mar 03, 2019 17:53 IST

New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday criticised the Opposition for raising questions over the credibility of the airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force in Balakot and claimed that the Opposition's comments "gave smiles to Pakistan". 
In his blog titled, 'India’s Opposition has a Lot to Learn', Jaitley cited three remarks- including one made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - asserted that the Congress-led UPA government from 2004 to 2014 ran a "terrible government" and from 2014 to 2019 ran an "even more terrible Opposition."
Jaitley quoted the resolution passed by the 21 opposition parties and wrote, "Like its other friends in the Opposition, the Congress Party refuses to learn. In a meeting of the 21 Opposition Parties, a resolution was passed, accusing the Prime Minister of politicizing the Pulwama and Balakot incidents.  The Government had twice taken the leaders of opposition parties into confidence. The statement was inappropriate. It gave a handle to the enemy. The media in Pakistan used this statement of 21 Opposition Parties as a trump card."
"It took the statement as an endorsement of the Pakistani position that India had taken the Balakot action because of the compulsion of its domestic politics and not as a part of its policy to defend the country against terrorism," he added.
In his blog, Jaitley went on to lambast West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and accused her of seeking operational details by doubting the credibility of the IAF. 
He, however, expressed strongest sentiments over the statement made by Manmohan Singh and wrote, "Singh stated that he was disturbed with the 'Mad rush of mutual self-destruction' by the two nations. What does this statement indicate?  Has the former Prime Minister elevated himself to the status of a neutral third party rather than be concerned about India’s interest. The perpetrator of terrorism and the victim of terrorism are both at par according to him and he doubts India’s right to defend its sovereignty."
"Amongst the problems facing India that he mentions which include poverty, ignorance, and disease.  Violence and terrorism are of no consequence in his assessment," read the blog written by Jaitley.
Asserting that the above three statements ought not to have been made, Jaitley said these comments became an "important instrument in Pakistan’s hands to discredit India."
Stating that the pre-emptive attack by the IAF at Balakot was intended to defend India’s sovereignty, Jaitley outlined that the retaliatory attack by Pakistan’s F-16 was the most botched up operation. He also said that not only was Pakistan globally isolated, the issue of it harbouring terrorists also reached the Security Council.
"Seen collectively and cumulatively, the above three statements ought not to have been made. They hurt India’s national interest.  Not only do they give smiles to Pakistan, they become an important instrument in Pakistan’s hands to discredit India. Does the opposition want the Air Force to release operation details of the Balakot attack?  The Opposition is entitled to oppose and ask questions, but then restrain and statesmanship are also an essential ingredient of public discourse. I hope, India’s Opposition revisits its position and does not let down the nation," he concluded. (ANI)