Masood Azhar case: BJP hails Modi's "strong leadership"

“India stands vindicated. Masood Azhar is now a global terrorist. India is in safe hands. This marks a high point for the Prime Minister’s foreign policy,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

“India is in safe hands,” BJP said lauding the “strong leadership” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi minutes after Masood Azhar, founder of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was designated a global terrorist by the United Nations after China lifted its objections.

The decision came at a time when the nation is in the middle of a keenly contested Lok Sabha polls in which the ruling BJP is seeking a second term for Modi, projecting his strong leadership and flagging the issue of national security.

“India stands vindicated. Masood Azhar is now a global terrorist. India is in safe hands. This marks a high point for the Prime Minister’s foreign policy,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath termed it “yet another victory of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong leadership on the world map.”

Under the hashtag #ModiHaiTohMumkinHai, the poll slogan of the BJP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Adityanath hailed the "diplomatic success of India's international campaign against terror saying "This is New India. This is Strong India."

Union Minister Giriraj Singh re-tweeted the opening line of a Bollywood song saying “Jhukti Hai Duniya, Jhukane waala chaahiye (the world kneels down, only someone who can do it is needed).

The BJP has been fighting the 2019 elections projecting it a Modi versus all and Modi versus each in all Lok Sabha seats in the country, highlighting the brand of “strong leadership” of Modi after 2016 post-Uri surgical strikes and 2019 post-Pulwama aerial strikes in Balakot in Pakistan.

The UN designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the last month of Modi's regime comes as a shot in the arm for the BJP. and it was during BJP-led NDA government during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure that Azhar was released by the government under pressure after Kandahar plane hijack.

Replying to a tweet, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had said on Monday said, “Yes, China is getting ready to declare as terrorist Azhar Masood, the one whom we illegally freed from jail and sent on the VIP Airforce with two other freed terrorists, to Kandahar.”

Opposition parties, which had mounted an attack on BJP recently on the Kandahar episode, insisted on further actions on Wednesday.

Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav called this the “first step” in ensuring that Masood Azhar pays for his crime and congratulated the Indian diplomatic officials for the significant victory.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Masood Azhar’s “belated” declaration as a global terrorist by UN is surely a welcome step but also voiced his disappointment that UN listing doesn’t mention Pulwama/ Jammu and Kashmir while listing Azhar’s role in terrorist activities.

He said the Congress expected Modi government to act with greater speed in pursuing the declaration of Masood Azhar and alleged, “but after the agenda-less visit of PM Modi to China (Wuhan Summit), they did not push for this case with China in the entire period of 2018.”

Surjewala also insisted that several precious lives in terror attacks like Pulwama could have been avoided had Modi government pushed the international community, including China, to agree to a declaration of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist.

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