Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday asked the NDA Government to “make the effort” to clear the doubts over Balakot air strikes if “we want the world to believe” the operation that struck the JeM terror camps deep inside Pakistan rather than indulging in “Opposition-bashing.”
In a series of tweets in English and Tamil on Monday morning, Chidambaram also sought to know how the number of casualties from the other side was put anywhere between 300 to 350 when the IAF itself refuses to comment on the exact number.
“IAF Vice Air Marshal declined to comment on causalities. MEA statement said there were no civilian or military casualties. So, who put out the number of casualties as 300-350? As a proud citizen, I am prepared to believe my government. But if we want the world to believe, the government must make the effort, not indulge in Opposition-bashing,” Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram also sought to know why the Prime Minister forgot that Congress President Rahul Gandhi was the first to salute the Indian Air Force for its “splendid achievement.”
The senior Congress leader was responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charge that the Opposition was questioning the air strikes and thereby insulting the Armed Forces. Modi has been accusing the Opposition of “hating India” guided by hatred against him and helping Pakistan through their statements against the government.
Opposition parties, quoting foreign media reports, have been asking the government to clarify on the operation and number of casualties. Though the government has steered clear of the issue, the BJP has made the statements an election issue with Modi himself leading the charge.