Former prime minister Manmohan Singh (ANI Photo)
"Multiple surgical strikes" took place during the previous UPA government but unlike the BJP, we didn’t use them for garnering votes, former prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday, terming the Bharatiya Janata Party’s use of military operations to gain electoral mileage “shameful and unacceptable”. In an interview with The Hindustan Times, Singh said that during his government military operations were used only as strategic deterrence and not as a "vote garnering exercise".
“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,” said the former prime minister, who ruled the country from 2004 to 2014.
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.
"Compromise on India’s National Security is unacceptable. 40 of our brave CRPF soldiers were martyred in the Pulwama terror attack at the most secure National Highway in the country. This is a grave intelligence and national security failure. Since then, it has come out that CRPF and BSF were requesting for airlifting the soldiers but the Modi Government refused it. Government also ignored solid intelligence inputs from J&K police about an IED attack, besides turning a blind eye to a video warning of a terrorist organization," he said during the interview.
Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allegations of soft approach against terrorists after the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, Singh said that he disagreed with the insinuation that his government was not ready military actions. He said that different geopolitical conditions require different responses and at the time, India's response was to isolate and expose Pakistan as a terror hub.
"Within 14 days of the Mumbai attack, we got China to agree to declare Hafiz Saeed as a global terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of UN. Congress-UPA ensured that a $10m bounty was placed on the head of the Mumbai attack perpetrator and the founder of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed by America. Another mastermind, David Headley was convicted to 35 years of prison during UPA-Congress Govt in 2013. The UN Security Council also put top LeT members involved in Mumbai attack on sanctions lists as terrorists. This has virtually rendered LeT ineffective today," Singh said.