Advani knew decision to free terrorists, send Jaswant to K'har


"The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security which has, you know, five members- - Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister, External Affairs Minister and Defence Minister.

"....once those demands were whittled down to three terrorists and no money and no interred remains (of some terrorist), then there was a unanimous decision of the CCS that in order to save the lives of 160 plus hostages and the aircraft crew, it made sense to release these three terrorists and get the hostages back," Mishra told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN.

When asked if it was an unanimous decision, he replied, "Of course".
Q: Was Advani part and parcel of it?
A: Yes, of course.

Mishra, who is considered close to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said Advani was also aware of the decision to send External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to Kandahar to secure the release of hostages.
"Again the CCS met and Mr Jaswant Singh proposed that he would go to Kandahar to bring back the hostages and he explained that the Indian representatives who were negotiating in Kandahar - diplomats, IB, RAW - they had suggested that somebody should be there to take care of any last minute complications. This he informed the CCS and they agreed to send (him)," Mishra said.

When asked again if this was an unanimous decision, Mishra replied in the affirmative.
On whether Advani was a party to the decision, he said yes.
"Three members of CCS, George Fernandes (then defence minister), Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha (Finance Minister) have already said this," Mishra added.
The former NSA clarified that initially no one was in favour of any concession while dealing with the hijackers.
"To begin with, they wanted the release of 36 terrorists. They wanted $ 200 million. And they wanted the interred remains of some terrorist. Nobody was prepared to accept this. Each and every member (of CCS) was opposed to agreeing to those demands," he said.

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